Can A Guilford County Criminal Defense Attorney Explain What Probable Cause Is?
Yes, of course! Many people have a misconstrued concept of what probable cause really is. When is probable
cause necessary? What is the threshold to say that there actually was valid probable cause? This
is an essential question and one of the most important issues in a lot of criminal cases. For more
information on when probable cause is needed, you should speak with a Guilford County
criminal defense attorney.
In general, probable cause is supposed to mean “more likely than not.” There is a test to evaluate
whether probable cause exists or not. Most importantly, you must look at the totality of the
circumstances. This means that there is not one specific factor that is necessarily a determinate
of probable cause. You must look at the entire situation to make a specific finding of validity.
Examples of things that you generally need probable cause for include warrants, arrests, and
grand jury indictments. There are examples where automatic probable cause is certain, though.
For example, a binary search is allowed and uncontested in most situations, which is why
officers like to use them. A binary search is sense-enhancing, not sense-replacing. An example of
this would be the dog-sniff. An officer can bring a search dog to smell around your car and if it
alerts to drugs, the officer will then have authority to search the car. Usually searches like this
are okay because there is a clear yes or no answer as to whether drugs are there or not. For more
information on binary surveillance, you should speak with a Guilford County criminal defense
You should contact a Guilford County criminal defense attorney with any questions about
probable cause standards. The criminal defense attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth, and Olson
know the requirements of the law and also genuinely care about each and every case given to
them. Call today at 336-379-0539; we are here to help!