Probable cause principles are vital to understanding Vermont criminal defense.

To establish probable cause, “police officers must be able to point to objective circumstances leading them to believe that a suspect committed a crime. A police officer can’t establish probable cause by saying only something like, “I just had a hunch that the defendant was a burglar.”

Judges, not police officers, have the last word on whether probable cause exists. A police officer may be sincere in believing that the facts establish probable cause. But if a judge examines that same information and disagrees, then probable cause does not exist (or did not exist, if the question is being decided after an arrest).

Note that probable cause may have existed at the time of an arrest even if the defendant didn’t actually do anything wrong. Put differently, an arrest is valid as long as it is based on probable cause, even if the arrested person is innocent.” For a full version of the article you can find it here.

An experienced Vermont criminal defense attorney can discuss the principles of probable cause and the extent that they apply to your case. Contact Burke Law today for a free, confidential case consultation. Burke Law serves all of Vermont from two convenient locations (Burlington and Hartford).

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If you have been charged with a crime, or if you have not been formally charged with crime but are party to an ongoing investigation, contact us to ensure that your rights are protected from the earliest stages of the process. We offer free consultations and will work with you to find a time that accommodates your schedule.