Probable cause and suppression motions

by | Jul 26, 2017 | Suppression

Suppression motions may be filed by lawyers to keep evidence out of court.  Probable cause to arrest exists when the facts and circumstances within the police officer’s knowledge and of which the officer has reasonable trustworthy information are sufficient in themselves to warrant a person of reasonable in the belief that an offense has been committed by the person to be arrested.  If there is no probable cause to arrest then suppression motions may be filed by the defense. miranda rights According to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, “Probable cause justifying a warrantless arrest is determined by the “totality of the circumstances.” Accordingly, PA courts consider a number of factors when considering whether or not a police officer was justified in arresting a criminal defendant. The main point is that a police officer must have probable cause that an accused committed a crime if he wishes to arrest him. If the officer arrests an accused when he does not possess probable cause, then the arrest and any evidence seized from the accused as a result of the unconstitutional arrest is not admissible in court and a judge and a jury cannot consider it as evidence against an accused. Make sure to contact an experienced Chester County Criminal lawyer if you believe that you have been arrested without a basis.

Probable cause and suppression motions appear in court cases.  An illustration of the issue of probable cause and an arrest by the police was discussed in a case considered by the Pennsylvania Superior Court. The issue in this case was whether the identification of a suspect by a retired police officer provided probable cause for the police to arrest a stabbing suspect. In this case, Mr. Hopson had seen a stabbing and directed to police to the suspect. stop and frisk The court ruled that because Mr. Hopson had personally observed the argument between the victim and the suspect just prior to the stabbing, the information was based on eyewitness accounts, and the tip was corroborated when the officer observed the knife near the suspect, there was enough probable cause for an arrest. The court said that Hopson’s status as a retired police officer provided “reasonable basis’ for concluding that he was a reliable source and concluded that there was enough probable cause for the arrest.

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