Probable cause is the reason or reasons police officers must have under the law in order to:
- Obtain a warrant to search you or your property
- Seize your property
- Arrest you
Your Fourth Amendment Right
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees that all United States citizens are protected from unlawful and unreasonable searches and seizures. Probable cause is intended as a safeguard against your rights being violated as officers must establish it before proceeding with an investigation or arrest.
Establishing Probable Cause
In order to make an arrest, an officer must have specific information that demonstrates to him or her that an illegal action was taking place or had just taken place.
In cases involving DUI in Oklahoma, having a broken taillight or committing a minor traffic violation do not count as grounds for probable cause to begin a DUI investigation or to place a suspect under arrest.
Challenging Probable Cause
No matter what charges you face, your defense attorney should thoroughly investigate the probable cause the officer cited for your arrest. In some cases, your attorney may be able to challenge this, which could severely damage the prosecution’s case against you.