Probable Cause in New York | What to Know

To learn more about probable cause and how it works in New York, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today to speak with a skilled Rockland County criminal defense attorney. Our legal team is on your side no matter what.

What is probable cause and how is it established?

It is important to keep in mind that probable cause is a main issue in the arrest process. This is because, in New York, police need this in order to make an arrest or obtain an arrest warrant from a judge.

To establish probable cause, police officers must be able to demonstrate factual circumstances directing them to believe that a suspect committed a crime. A police officer cannot establish probable cause by simply stating that he or she just had a hunch that the defendant was a burglar, as there is not enough basis behind that statement.

Recognize that judges, not police officers, have the last word on whether probable cause is present. A police officer may be open to acknowledging that the facts establish probable cause. However, if a judge looks at that same information and disagrees, then probable cause does not exist, or never did exist if the question is being determined after an arrest.

Recognize that probable cause may have existed at the time of an arrest even if the defendant did not really do anything wrong. Essentially, an arrest is valid as long as it is based on probable cause, even if the arrested person is innocent.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, give our firm a call today to discuss the details of your case and your options.

How much information is required to persuade a court or judge of probable cause?

The question everyone wants the answer to is how much information do police officers need to persuade a judge to issue an arrest warrant or to justify a warrantless arrest? In many instances, probable cause demands more than a mere suspicion that a suspect committed a crime, but not as much information as would be needed to prove the suspect guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Because probable cause is an abstract concept, a firm definition is hard to attain. Courts have to determine case by case whether there is or was probable cause for an arrest. To learn more, reach out to our firm today. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys are on your side each step of the way.

Contact our experienced Rockland County firm

Those facing criminal charges in New York need a strong criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. Call today or contact The Law Office of Carl Spector online to schedule a free confidential consultation.