Reasonable suspicion and probable cause are legal terms you’ve probably heard or read about before. Too many, these terms seem to be one in the same, but they differ, especially in Tulsa federal criminal defense cases. The Oklahoma law firm of Fry & Elder will provide you with the definitions and answers into how reasonable suspicion and probable cause differ from one another.
What is Reasonable Suspicion?
Simply put: This is the reasonable presumption that a crime will be, is being or has been committed. Unlike probable cause, reasonable suspicion is looked at more like a hunch or a guess. It is reasonable belief that is based on circumstances or facts and is made based on a police officer’s experience and training.
What is Probable Cause?
Simply put: This is a logical belief that a crime will, is being or has been committed that is based and supported by circumstances and facts.
What is the Difference Between the Two?
When probable cause takes place it means that there is detailed and solid evidence of a crime. Reasonable suspicion is based more on a broader interpretation – in that it appears that a crime has taken place. The latter phrase usually is used to justify an investigation that a crime may have taken place.
When does Law Enforcement Need Probable Cause
For the police to arrest an individual or obtain a search warrant, probable cause must exist. Reasonable suspicion is needed by the police to stop or question an individual. Police also have the ability to search for weapons if they believe that an individual present an imminent threat or is armed.
If you are arrested and are facing federal criminal charges in Tulsa, you will need a lawyer that is experienced in trying federal criminal defense cases so that you can make sure that law enforcement officials followed the necessary rules in attaining evidence and making an arrest. The trial lawyers of Fry & Elder have experience and success in trying Tulsa federal criminal defense cases. The firm was named to the U.S. News & World Report’s prestigious list of Best Law Firms 2015. Contact Fry & Elder today to set up a free consultation.