PROBABLE CAUSE

Dallas Criminal Lawyer

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Temporary Detention

A police officer must have reasonable suspicion that late leads to probable cause to make a DWI arrest.  Most traffic stops involve warrantless arrest.  Typically, an offer will encounter a potentially intoxicated driver either on the road of after the driver has hit something.  The law does not require an officer to get a warrant to proceed further in these situations.  There are two different types of seizures of an individual:

  • Temporary Detention
  • Arrest
Once a suspect has been seized without a warrant, the seizure can then be characterized as either a temporary detention or an arrest.  A temporary detention requires a showing of reasonable suspicion; an arrest requires a greater showing of probable cause.
Factors that justify an initial temporary detention may escalate into probable cause justifying an arrest.  Probable cause is created when facts and circumstances within the officer’s knowledge, and about which he had reasonably trustworthy information, cause a reasonable person to believe that an offense has been or is being committed.
The concept of custody goes along with an arrest.  A person is considered in custody only if a reasonable person would believe his freedom of movement is restrained to the degree associated with a formal arrest.  If a suspect is in custody, officers must hive him Miranda warnings before he can be interrogated.

 

Voluntary Encounters

Voluntary encounters do not implicate Fourth Amendment protections when an officer simply approaches an individual on the street or in another public place and asks questions.  A request for permission to search does not automatically turn an encounter into a secure or impact the voluntariness of the suspect’s cooperations.  Only when an police officer verbally or nonverbally conveys to the suspect that his compliance is required does a consensual encounter become a detention.

 

Reasonable Suspicion

To detain a person temporarily, officers must have reasonable suspicion that he is involved in a criminal activity.  Reasonable suspicion is more than a hunch but less than proof of wrongdoing by a preponderance of the evidence.  Reasonable suspicion is determined by looking at all the circumstances of each case to see whether the officer had a specific, objective basis for suspecting the defendant was engaged in criminal activity.  Not only must an officer have reasonable suspicion, the officer must articulate the facts and reasonable inferences from those facts when testifying.  A search or detention that begins reasonably can become unreasonable if officers exceed what is necessary to accomplish the investigation that initially justifies the search.  Two of the most commonly disapproved actions involve moving the suspect too far or detaining the suspect for too long.  A reasonable temporary detention may escalate into an arrest if an offer develops information during the detention that supports probable cause.  If the stop turns into an arrest, the officer then has greater rights to detain the suspect for longer, move the suspect to another place for questioning, and conduct a search incident to arrest.

To make an investigatory stop, an officer must have a reasonable suspicion, based on objective facts, that the individual is involved in criminal activity.  Looking at the totality of the circumstances requires courts to look  at each case individually.  The facts must show:

  • Some activity out of the ordinary;
  • The suspect detained is connected with that activity;
  • The suspicious activity is related to the crime.

Sufficient Reasonable Suspicion

  • Crime in Progress
  • Looking Like a Future Burglar
  • Danger to Himself or Others
  • Traffic Offenses
  • High Crime Zone
  • Flight from Officers
  • Drug Couriers
  • Police Broadcasts

Insufficient Reasonable Suspicion

  • Uncorroborated Anonymous Tips
  • Nervousness around Officers