People who are interacting with police officers may wonder what the officer is allowed to do. While they have a fairly large berth for what they’re allowed to do while they’re working, there are some limitations. Understanding some of these points can help you to know your rights and whether there’s anything amiss with what’s going on.
One thing that people don’t realize is that there has to be probable cause for an arrest to occur. An arrest isn’t lawful if there’s no probable cause. There isn’t a specific checklist that you can refer to if you need to determine whether probable cause was present in a case or not, so it may benefit you to engage in further research.
What is probable cause?
Probable cause means that the officer has evidence that a crime was committed. This can stem from several factors, including the officer’s observations, witnesses, or other types of evidence. Probable cause is also necessary for a warrant to be issued.
Does an officer always need an arrest warrant?
No, an officer doesn’t always need a warrant to arrest a person. It’s possible to be arrested if the officer believes in good faith that there’s probable cause to arrest a person. The case would then go before a judge who would decide if the arrest was based on probable cause. A person can be released from police custody if it’s found that there wasn’t probable cause.
There are many facets of an arrest that can come into question as part of your criminal defense strategy. Learning about the options that you have for this defense strategy is important so you can do what you feel is best for your needs.