Probable Cause Explained by Criminal Defense Lawyers in Florida Law

Probable cause is defined under Florida law as: what a reasonable person would consider grounds for believing that a crime either had been committed, was in the process of being committed, or was at some point going to be committed as a result.

When a police officer or other law enforcement agent has feasible cause, he or she has grounds for an arrest or search warrant. A police officer can also make an arrest if he or she has a credible reason to believe a crime is being committed or was just committed.

For example, if a police officer follows your vehicle for 5-6 blocks and notices that you are having trouble staying in your lane and you are driving well beneath the speed limit, he has the right to pull you over and question you. It is not absolute proof that you are driving under the influence, but it is enough to warrant investigation. 

Perhaps you were driving your dog home from the vet and it was particularly agitated, so you were distracted while trying to calm it down, for instance. Regardless, the dog bite lawyer has a plausible reason to stop you, or for people who drive their truck really tired and police try to stop you for that, there are truck crash lawyers that can help you.

A Team of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Florida Can Help If You Have Been Searched or Arrested without Probable Cause

If you have been stopped, pulled over, or arrested in Florida by law enforcement agents, reach out to our dedicated team of criminal defense lawyers who will rigorously investigate the circumstances of your case and help you determine if your rights have been violated.

According to Florida law, probable cause plays an important role in the legality of a search, arrest, or distribution of a warrant to search or arrest someone. If you or someone you know has been searched and resultantly arrested without reason, reach out to an attorney from our team of lawyers who will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your search and arrest. 

If the absence of reason can be proven, it is possible that your attorney can have your charges dismissed outright. 

The definition of what constitutes a “search” plays just as heavily into this legal requirement, which is approximately “that which would cause a reasonable person to believe that a crime:  

  • has been committed;
  • is being committed; or
  • is about to be committed.” 

A search is more than just an invasion of house and home by police officers. A search includes any exploratory investigation of a place or individual. For example, the Florida Supreme Court recently determined that having drug dogs sniffing at the front door of a private domicile constitutes a search.

On the other hand, the United States Supreme Court determined in Terry v. Ohio (1968) that a “Terry stop” – also known as a “stop and frisk” – can be performed if a police officer has reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or may soon be committed with a concealed weapon. The standard for reasonable suspicion is more relaxed, although it must still be based on specific, describable facts that warrant suspicion.

If you have been unlawfully searched or arrested and the police or law enforcement agent who conducted the search or arrest lacked a credible reason, hand your case over to defense lawyers who will fight your case with your best interests in mind. Your attorney will evaluate your case and determine if your amendment rights were broken.

Remember that criminal charges can come with hefty penalties that can negatively alter your life but with legal counsel on your side, you may be able to save the outlook of your future.

Contacting Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are facing criminal charges under Florida law, your lawyers are your best defense. The defense team you choose to represent you in court, defend your rights, and relentlessly pursue your case could be the difference between jail time and getting on with your life. Contact the criminal defense lawyer team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 1-877-663-5110.