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What is the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause?

What is the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause?

Those are two terms that you’ll hear often in the legal field, as well as, in interacting with police officers. And, reasonable suspicion is all that a police officer actually needs to stop you and talk to you on the sidewalk or even stop you in your vehicle. Probable cause is what the officer needs in order to actually charge you with the crime. So, reasonable suspicion is really thought of more as a gut instinct. The police officer takes into consideration limited circumstances and facts and they just have a feeling and that allows them to come up and stop and speak with you. Or they can stop your vehicle and investigate further to determine whether or not something has occurred. Now, probable cause is when that gut instinct or reaction that the officer has rises to the level that a individual, an independent third party, looking at the outside, looking at the facts from the outside in, would consider all of the facts and all the circumstances and they would believe, as an independent third party, looking at it neutrally, that a crime has been committed and that you were the one that actually committed the crime. If it gets to that point and the police officer has probable cause and is charged you with a crime. Contact me at the Pack Law Group (540) 586-7225 again, (540) 586-7225.

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