Probable Cause in Vermont Criminal Cases

Published by Jessica Burke on

Probable cause is a legal concept in Vermont criminal cases.

To be arrested for DUI, or any crime in Vermont, probable cause that an individual committed that offense must exist.  To establish probable cause, police officers must be able to point to objective circumstances leading them to believe that a suspect committed a crime.  Probable cause requires more than a mere suspicion (or hunch) that a suspect committed a crime, but not as much evidence as would be required to prove the suspect guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In Vermont, the question of whether probable cause exists is a practical, nontechnical one that is evaluated in a common sense manner based on the totality of the circumstances. In other words, the test for probable cause is an all-things-considered approach that calls for consideration of any and all facts that a reasonable person would consider relevant to a police officer’s belief that contraband or evidence of a crime is present. Zullo v. State, 2019 VT 1 (Vt., 2019).

Vermont law enforcement obtain probable cause for DUI by observing all of yourh test over .08 BAC. They can build probable cause for DUI based on a tail light out, admission to drinking, mumbled speech and failing to turn correctly on the walk and turn test. Any number of combinations of evidence gathered during your interaction with the police can be used against you to create probable cause for your arrest.

If you are arrested for DUI or any other criminal in Vermont please contact us for a free, confidential case consultation.

Jessica Burke

Jessica Burke is a licensed Vermont attorney and the founder of Burke Law. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Boston College in Political Science, and then received her law degree from Washington & Lee Law School. After law school she worked with several top law firms before settling in Vermont and building her own practice. In addition to being licensed to practice law in the state of Vermont, she also holds a State Bar certification in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, among others. She specializes in criminal defense, including DUI defense, homicides, and sex crimes.

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