Do the police need a warrant to arrest me?

No. The police do not need a warrant to arrest you. The police need probable cause to arrest you. So then what is probable cause? It is a term often used, probably well understood, but not easily defined. It is not mere suspicion or reasonable suspicion. It is the totality of the circumstances where based upon known and trustworthy information, "more likely than" not a crime was committed, is being committed, or is about to be committed, and more likely than not the accused is the person that did it.

I stress the language of "more likely than not" because probable cause does not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It merely involves a totality of the circumstances test. Massachusetts search and seizure law is constantly changing, and the circumstances of the case depend highly upon the knowledge and reliability of the people on the side of the government.

Categories: Criminal Defense
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