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Probable Cause and Your Rights

Accusations of criminal activity and/or arrest create a distressing scene. Most of us aren’t used to interreacting with law enforcement in an official capacity. At the least, when arrest seems imminent, your thoughts might naturally turn to how such an incident could affect your employment, family relationships, and more.

An important legal safeguard (stemming from the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution) is probable cause. Simply stated, law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys must base criminal charges on facts, not mere suspicion. Read on to learn more about probable cause and what you can and should do to avoid legal complications.

Probable Cause and Law Enforcement  

As mentioned, law enforcement officers must present probable cause to search you and/or your property, and make an arrest determination. In addition, police officers must demonstrate why they believe the person they’ve arrested committed a crime, was in the process of committing a crime, or evidence that a crime was being planned.

It’s important to make the distinction here between probable cause and suspicion. Law enforcement can detain you on grounds of probable suspicion. For instance, if an officer suspects someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they have every right to force the driver to exit the roadway and perform tests necessary to establish probable cause. This is just one example of many possible scenarios.

However, you have the right to speak with a skilled and qualified Daytona Beach criminal attorney before making any statements. In addition, if you believe your rights were violated in any setting, discussing the matter with a reputable attorney is essential.

Other Probable Cause Scenarios

Recent news reports detailed the story of a disabled Central Florida man who died at an assistance facility. The autistic man was found dead shortly after a public and heated argument with a staff member. Officials said the patient had a long history of violent outbursts. Physical attacks on staff were well-documented.

In the end, the caregiver avoided criminal charges because probable cause evidence was deemed insufficient to do so. Meanwhile, some staff members and loved ones of the deceased tried to argue that the caregiver intentionally caused harm to the patient, which ultimately led to the patient’s untimely death.

This is just one example of many where interpretation of probable cause can create a complex scenario with inconclusive details. This further demonstrates the need to partner with trusted Volusia County lawyers before any legal incidents arise.

Probable Cause and Your Protection

For more than 35 years, we’ve represented countless Central Florida residents in a variety of legal situations. Over that time, we’ve built a solid reputation as premier Daytona lawyers adept with intricacies of the law. In addition, we’re known as a reliable personal injury attorney in Daytona Beach.

From criminal defense, to divorce and family law, real estate, business and corporate law, and more, we can help you navigate even the most complex legal matters. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation surrounding your current legal concerns.