Fort Lauderdale Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest Attorneys
The term ‘probable cause’ has a very specific meaning under Florida law. Judges sometimes have to determine if there is probable cause when they are issuing search warrants. Other times though, police officers must determine if there is probable cause to arrest someone. When law enforcement must determine if there is probable cause, they must do so based on the facts of the case. Unfortunately, police officers sometimes know they do not have probable cause, but they make an arrest anyway. In these cases, it is critical that you speak to a Fort Lauderdale lack of probable cause to arrest attorney as soon as possible.
What is a Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest?
In order for probable cause to exist, the circumstances surrounding the arrest must lead a reasonable person to think the person being arrested committed a crime. When property is involved, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause to believe the property in question was stolen, or that it is illegal contraband, such as drug paraphernalia.
Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, people are also protected from unlawful search and seizures. An experienced Fort Lauderdale lack of probable cause to arrest attorney can examine the facts of the case and determine if the charges or arrest can be challenged on constitutional grounds.
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Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest and the Reasonable Person Standard
To determine if an officer had probable cause to arrest, the reasonable person standard is applied. This is an objective test that determines whether a reasonable person with knowledge surrounding the circumstances and facts of the alleged crime would believe the defendant had committed the offense. Essentially, if another reasonable person would have had probable cause, it is likely that the officer did as well. If a reasonable person would not come to the same conclusion, a attorney can argue there was a lack of probable cause to arrest.
Reasonable Suspicion and Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest
Police must also have reasonable suspicion someone committed a crime in certain situations, such as when they want to pull over a driver for a suspected DUI. Probable cause is a much higher standard to meet than reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means the officer only suspects someone committed a crime after observing certain elements of the case, such as reckless driving. Reasonable suspicion is not enough to make an arrest, or search a vehicle. In order to take either of these actions, a police officer must have probable cause. When they lack probable cause, they cannot legally make an arrest.
Our Fort Lauderdale Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest Attorneys Can Help You Beat Your Charges
If you have been arrested and you believe your rights were violated as a result, our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer at Meldon Law will always protect your best interests. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.