Probable Cause for Arrest

"Probable Cause" for Arrest - Phoenix DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney

"Probable Cause" for Arrest Standard

"Probable cause" is the standard required for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest as it relates to DUI or other criminal charges. Although there is no standard explicit definition of probable cause, the standard is judicially recognized based on the merits of any given case. This standard originates from the Fourth Amendment Rights under the United States Constitution. Probable Cause" provisions also exist under Arizona DUI and Criminal Laws as well.

Evidence that Constitutes "Probable Cause" for DUI Arrest

"Probable Cause" requires "a reasonable belief" that a crime took place. This may include more substantiated evidence, or circumstantial information, enough to justify making an arrest for a DUI or crime. . It's been referred by some legal scholars as the middle ground of standards because it is 1) higher than "reasonable suspicion" but 2) Lower than "clear and convincing evidence". An officer cannot arrest an individual, merely because they "have a hunch". The exception to this, would be if the police already had an outstanding warrant for the person's arrest. Otherwise, police must be able to support the likelihood that the suspect committed a crime or was in the progress of committing a crime. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to:

  • Accumulative observations by the Police - The vehicle was weaving in and out across road lane lines wildly; when the driver was stopped, they detect a strong odor of alcohol; the driver is staggering and unable to complete a sentence without slurring or walk straight (in absence of medical impairments); opened or empty alcohol containers in plain sight; alcohol spilled on a person or their clothing;
  • A Driver admits or offers information to Police - "I'm really drunk"; I should not be driving"; "but I haven't smoked pot since yesterday"; "I only had 3 beers";
  • Early Detection evidence - The driver failed the Standard Field Sobriety Test; Police conducted a Portable Breath Test (PBT) which proved positive test results for alcohol;
  • Witness statements - "We tried to take the keys, because he or she would not let us drive them home"; "The bartender denied his request for another drink.." "We offered a ride home or taxi cab, but he or she refused".
  • Driver's Refusal to Submit to DUI Field Sobriety Test (FST): Even though the FST is not mandatory under law, the police may still arrest a driver if they are being uncooperative; refuses to submit to Field Sobriety Testing and any of the other cues exist;
  • Driver Refuses an official Breath Test after failing FST or PBT: Under Arizona law a breath test is required if the DUI investigation has advanced to that point based on existence of other evidence above. Refusal will result in a one year suspension of driver's license, and the police will obtain a warrant for arrest and DUI blood or Drug DUI chemical test to be taken.

DUI arrest - no "Probable Cause" Defense Lawyer, Phoenix AZ

Having no "Probable Cause" for arrest is a common area of challenge by the Law office of James Novak, PLLC. If you have been arrested without probable cause, it is a violation of your constitutional rights because the arrest was unlawful. If you face active DUI charges in Maricopa County, Phoenix Metro, or East Valley, contact the Law Office of James Novak. If retained, will evaluate your case and determine if any of your constitutional rights were violated and defend your charges. James Novak, Attorney at Law, is a former Maricopa County prosecutor and experienced trial lawyer for criminal and DUI charges. He will work to get you the best possible outcome in your case. Call (480) 413-1499 for a Free Consultation today! .