Probable Cause

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  • A necessary condition in cases where law enforcement officials choose to deprive individuals of their liberty. Probable cause is present when there is reasonable ground to believe that an individual is or has engaged in an offense or will do so in the future. According to the Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, probable cause must be stronger than mere suspicion but does not necessarily imply the presence of strong evidence that will lead to a conviction. Probable cause is relevant to contacts with the police and with the court. For instance, a police officer may search or arrest an individual if he or she has probable cause to believe that the individual has engaged in illegal behavior. Furthermore, the court also has to establish ...

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