probable cause
probable cause see cause 2

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

probable cause
n.
Reason to believe that a particular fact is more likely true than not; when considering doing search and seizure, reasonable grounds supported by evidence to assume that the search or arrest is justified, i.e., that a crime has been committed or that the property to be seized is associated with a crime.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


probable cause
The amount and quality of information police must have before they can search or arrest without a warrant. Most of the time, police must present their probable cause to a judge or majistrate, whom they ask for a search or arrest warrant. Information is reliable if it shows that it's more likely than not that a crime has occurred and the evidence sought exists at the place named in the search warrant, or that the suspect named in the arrest warrant has committed a crime.
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


probable cause
n. A necessary element of a legitimate arrest or legal search and seizure; a reasonable ground to believe that someone is committing or has committed an offense. It must amount to more than just suspicion, but need not rise to the level of evidence justifying conviction, according to Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


probable cause
Apparent facts discovered through logical inquiry that would lead a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe that an accused person has committed a crime, thereby warranting his or her prosecution, or that a cause of action has accrued, justifying a civil lawsuit.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


probable cause
I
Apparent facts discovered through logical inquiry that would lead a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe that an accused person has committed a crime, thereby warranting his or her prosecution, or that a cause of action has accrued, justifying a civil lawsuit.
II A reasonable belief that a crime has or is being committed; the basis for all lawful searches, seizures, and arrests.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

probable cause
n.
   sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed or that certain property is connected with a crime. Probable cause must exist for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest without a warrant, search without a warrant, or seize property in the belief the items were evidence of a crime. While some cases are easy (pistols and illicit drugs in plain sight, gunshots, a suspect running from a liquor store with a clerk screaming "help"), actions "typical" of drug dealers, burglars, prostitutes, thieves, or people with guilt "written across their faces," are more difficult to categorize. "Probable cause" is often subjective, but if the police officer's belief or even hunch was correct, finding stolen goods, the hidden weapon or drugs may be claimed as self-fulfilling proof of probable cause. Technically, probable cause has to exist prior to arrest, search or seizure.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Probable cause — Probable Prob a*ble, a. [L. probabilis, fr. probare to try, approve, prove: cf. F. probable. See {Prove}, and cf. {Provable}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Capable of being proved. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 2. Having more evidence for than against; supported by …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • probable cause — n. Law reasonable grounds for presuming guilt in someone charged with a crime …   English World dictionary

  • Probable cause — In United States criminal law, probable cause refers to the standard by which a police officer has the right to make an arrest, conduct a personal or property search, or to obtain a warrant for arrest. It is also used to refer to the standard to… …   Wikipedia

  • probable cause — noun (law) evidence sufficient to warrant an arrest or search and seizure a magistrate determined that there was probable cause to search the house • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • Hypernyms: ↑evidence, ↑grounds * * * noun [nonco …   Useful english dictionary

  • probable cause — prob′able cause′ n. 1) law reasonable ground for a belief that the accused was guilty of the crime 2) the probability that grounds for the action existed: often used as a defense …   From formal English to slang

  • probable cause — Reasonable cause as shown by the circumstances of the case. Goldstein v Sabella (Fla) 88 So 2d 910, 58 ALR2d 1418 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • probable cause — noun Date: circa 1676 a reasonable ground for supposing that a charge is well founded …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • probable cause — Law. reasonable ground for a belief, as, in a criminal case, that the accused was guilty of the crime, or, in a civil case, that grounds for the action existed: used esp. as a defense to an action for malicious prosecution. [1670 80] * * * …   Universalium

  • probable cause — noun a) The standard by which a police officer may make an arrest or conduct a personal or property search. b) In accident investigations, the conclusions reached by the investigating body as to the factor or factors which caused the accident …   Wiktionary

  • probable cause — reasonable grounds for presuming someone to be guilty (Law) …   English contemporary dictionary

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