How Much Probable Cause Do Police Need to Arrest Me in Massachusetts?
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How Much Probable Cause Do Police Need to Arrest Me in Massachusetts?
October 16, 2021

How Much Probable Cause Do Police Need to Arrest Me in Massachusetts?

Posted in : First Page Attorney
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Great Criminal Defense Lawyer Jesse Adams

Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the concept of probable cause in relation to criminal law. This is a cornerstone of America’s justice system and is important to understand, especially if you’ve been charged with a crime. Here’s what you need to know.

The Definition of Probable Cause

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that the legal standard of probable cause generally must be fulfilled before authorities can arrest someone, get a warrant, or perform a search.

Probable cause is usually established when there’s a reasonable basis to believe that a crime has occurred. Individuals detained without an arrest warrant must be presented before a judge as soon as possible following their arrest for a speedy determination of whether or not probable cause existed.

What Is the Difference Between Probable Cause and Reasonable Suspicion?

The phrases “reasonable suspicion” and “probable cause” are frequently used interchangeably and incorrectly. While both phrases refer to an officer’s general perception of a scenario, they each have distinct implications on an individual’s legal rights and what appropriate protocol would be.

Generally speaking, reasonable suspicion comes just before probable cause. At the point of reasonable suspicion, it only appears as though a crime has been committed. Once it becomes clear to the responding officer that a crime has indeed been committed, the matter then escalates to probable cause.

What to Do If Police Arrest You Without Probable Cause

If police search your property or arrest you without probable cause, it’s important that you do not resist. Resisting arrest is its own crime, which you can be found guilty of even if the arrest was illegitimate. The same goes for a police search. You can and should inform the officers that you do not consent to a search, but you cannot impede a search or otherwise make it more difficult for officers to search.

Get Help From a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer Now

If you or a family member have been arrested for any crime in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it’s crucial that you reach out for help from a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as you can.

At The Law Offices of Jesse Adams, we have the skills and experience necessary to provide you with zealous criminal defense representation. Call today for a consultation at 413.585.9200. Serving all of Western Massachusetts.

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