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Behind The Importance Of Probable Cause

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People with a vague understanding of criminal law know police make arrests when the offender is culpable of a crime. However, only one property of criminal law allows police to accurately judge a suspect before making an arrest.

Probable cause

fresno-criminal-defense-attorneyAccording to Nolo.com’s summarization from The Criminal Law Handbook, the term probable cause describes the ‘suspicion that a suspect committed a crime, which lacks the concrete information required to prove a suspect guilty beyond reasonable doubt.’ The Fourth Amendment protects probable cause as a key principle in the process of arresting an alleged offender.

Police, in fact, need probable cause to determine the grounds for making an arrest. They also need probable cause to justify an arrest after it’s made or if they’re asking a judge to issue an arrest warrant to an accused party.

The main principle of probable cause allows police officers to pinpoint any ‘objective factual circumstances’  where they believe a suspect may have been involved in a crime. Judges ultimately hold the ‘final word’ on determining probable cause; if they don’t believe a suspect’s circumstances support a probable cause, there’s no justification for it.

Determining what constitutes probable cause

How much information constitutes probable cause for police officers? The amount of information that constitutes probable cause can grant a police officer the right to issue a warrantless arrest or request a judge to issue an arrest warrant.

More than a suspicion, but less information than what would prove ‘guilty beyond reasonable doubt’ is what defines probable cause. According to our resource, the meaning of probable cause can be interpreted in different circumstances based on:

  • What the judges thinks the Fourth Amendment meant by the term probable cause,
  • Interpretations of probable cause by judges who have previously understood it, and
  • The judge’s perspective regarding the police’s rights and criminal rights.

In general, probable cause is considered an abstract concept in criminal law. Due to that, it’s up to a judge to use their own interpretation of probable cause to come to a conclusion. That’s what causes judges to invoke probable cause in some cases, while disregarding it in others.

As a principle of criminal law, probable cause is an important concept that determines whether police are justified for making an arrest. Such a principle complicates and, at the same time, makes the arrest.

Objectives Of Criminal Law

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ThiefThe body of law relating to crime is criminal law. Criminal law enforces and regulates social conduct, in addition to prohibiting threats, harm or other element that endangers the health, safety and moral welfare of people within a jurisdiction. Criminal law also enforces punishment of offenders who violate laws.

Objectives of criminal law

In criminal law, specific objectives exist to enforce different degrees of crime. Criminal law, in fact, holds a distinction for having ‘uniquely serious consequences’ for offenders who fail to abide by the laws of their jurisdiction.

Modern consequences in criminal law commonly involve incarceration in jail or prison, government supervision or house arrest, fines, seizure of property and/or money from an offender. Physical punishment is prohibited in most jurisdictions around the world.

Jurisdictions around the world follow five objectives to enforce criminal law punishment: retribution, rehabilitation, restoration, incapacitation, deterrence and retribution. The value of each varies between different jurisdictions.

Retribution

Retribution gives an offender a punishment equal to the crime they committed. Offenders essentially surrender their rights to take advantage of certain laws upon committing a crime. Therefore, an offender who commits a serious offense loses the right to be denied an equivalent sentencing, such as a lawful execution.

Deterrence

Deterrence imposes a suitable penalty upon an offender with the goal of discouraging them committing criminal behavior again. This consequence has an effect on society, with the goal of discouraging others from committing the same crimes as the offender.

Incapacitation

Incapacitation keeps offenders away from society, protecting the general public from their disordered behavior. Prison sentences are the most common form of incapacitation today.

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is the act of turning an offender into a valuable member of the general public. The main goal is helping offenders learn their offending behavior was wrong, preventing further offenses in the future.

Restoration

Restoration benefits the victim. It’s the act of repairing any injury inflicted to the victim by an offender. This form of justice is combined with other criminal law objectives to come to a conclusion for an offending suit.

Criminal law objectives and intent

Criminal law enforcement breaks crimes down into specific classes or degrees to assign an appropriate punishment.

Most offenses, however, are defined as mala in se and mala prohibita laws. Mala in se crimes are generally felonies, immoral acts, property crimes and corrupt acts performed by public officials. Mala prohibita refers to offenses without ‘wrongfulness’ associated with the act, such as jaywalking and parking in a restricted area.

Using the objectives and aforementioned classifications, law enforcement officials are able to provide a suitable punishment for most offenses.

How Innocent Parties Handle Criminal Charges

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tulsa-divorce-lawyerCriminal law enforces punishment against offending parties. Due to the nature of it, law enforcement officials around the world use criminal law to enforce appropriate punishment for those offenders.

However, what if an offending party was found innocent all along? Sometimes, criminal law enforcement can trap innocent parties in legal proceedings that typically enforce punishment against the guilty parties. Fortunately, the innocent can protect themselves against these charges when they do face them.

Innocent defendants and criminal charges

According to the legal resource Nolo.com, innocent defendants may be found liable for a crime in several ways. There are, however, several ways they can avoid a guilty plea or verdict if susceptible of a conviction.

Defendants who didn’t commit crimes get caught in legal trouble when certain scenarios occur. Using our same resource, here are several examples describing how innocent defendants may end up facing criminal charges:

Limited and/or inaccurate information in police filings/reports

Prosecutors who handle filing decisions receive cases, typically the police report of the offending incident. Sometimes, a police report may have inaccurate or limited information. Police reports may contain information based on misstatements or incorrect facts by witnesses; some reports may have inaccurate information written by a biased officer.

Intervention before receiving charges

A good criminal defense lawyer is an asset of an innocent defendant. In fact, innocent defendants are recommended to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible, if they can. If the facts concerning their case reliably suits their innocence, their lawyer can intervene before the prosecution files charges.

Getting the case dismissed

Innocent defendants usually wait until the charges are filed before their lawyer can step in. Despite that, the trial may not happen. A lawyer can help them weight their options to attempt a case dismissal.

Some lawyers may help the innocent defendant investigate the incident and find more evidence regarding its conditions, which may involve getting witness declarations. Some, however, may decide that further investigation with the prosecution may not be appropriate before the trial.

Letting the case happen

Most lawyers decide to wait for the case to play out for their defendant, as it’s usually the best move for their party. It can take months, in most cases, for the prosecution to find insufficient supporting the innocent’s involvement in a crime and, thus, their purported conviction. Depending on the case.

Need a divorce lawyer or criminal lawyer? Contact Ned C Khan.

How Prosecutors Initiate Cases For Criminal Charges

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A criminal cases starts with a police arrest report, though many people assume the process jumps from there into the trial. Between the filing of an arrest report and the probability of entering a trial, a criminal case evolves.

How criminal cases start

As mentioned by Nolo.com‘s reference about criminal cases, police arrest reports are usually the first step of a criminal case.

VERRAZANO NARROWS BRIDGEFrom that point, a prosecutor determines the criminal charges to file, if there are any criminal charges presented. After that, the case is eligible for a criminal indictment before a grand jury; it’s also eligible for a preliminary hearing upon a judge, where they decide whether the case has enough supporting evidence to evolve into a trial.

In this short article, we’re going to look at how prosecutors review arrest reports before filing any possible criminal charges.

The arrest report and possible charges

Arrest reports go to prosecutors after an arrest occurs. Prosecutors initiate and prosecute (pursue, in other words) criminal cases. A prosecutor has the ability to file charges on all crimes where police arrested a suspect.

The arrest report itself is a summary of events leading to the arrest; it provides details like dates, locations, times and weather conditions during the crime. It also features witnesses names and addresses if included in the report.

After reviewing the report, prosecutors may decide to charge a case, depending on its circumstances, and file a complaint with a trial court. They also have the option of charging the case as a felony, bringing evidence to a grand jury to decide if there are any grounds to file charges. In some cases, a prosecutor may decide not to pursue the case.

Prosecutors decide to file charges based on several factors; some of those factors may be influenced by facts not included within the actual arrest report. Those factors may include policies on crimes in their jurisdiction, political ambition or their own interpretation of justice.

When prosecutors file charges for a criminal case

Prosecutors are required by law to file charges within 72 hours of the suspect’s arrest. Some jurisdictions require them to file in as little as 48 hours, depending on the suspect’s state of arrest. They usually file during the time where the suspect remains within police custody.

The initial charges filed by a prosecutor may change. Some usually don’t make a final decision on their charges until they reach a preliminary hearing weeks after the suspect’s arrest.

Dealing with an Auto Accident and Personal Injury

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personal-injury-lawyerAuto accidents cause the highest number of lawsuits to be filed by personal injury lawyers each year. With an accident occurring every three seconds, there is no surprise this is the fact of the matter. Auto accidents usually cause a massive amount of damage when they occur, resulting in missed time from work, damage to property and piling medical bills. Insurance companies are oftentimes of little help, offering to settle for far less than what the actual damages associated with the accident are worth. Contact hugh howerton, a Great injury lawyer. He handles injury related cases and car accident attorney.

Hiring a Lawyer

Form the information above, you might say that hiring a lawyer is a must. So many people try to go it alone, and most of the time the results are far less than desirable. The last thing that you want to do is suffer for your mistakes twice, and this might be what happens if you’re not careful. Hiring a lawyer gives a great peace of mind and helps seal the deal for a victory in your case.

How to Hire a Lawyer

First and foremost, ensure that the lawyer is a specialist in personal injury. While all lawyers might be capable of handling such a ace, those that have experience with the type of case and inside the courtroom are far better suited to handle the case and get you the most amount of money for the injuries that have been sustained.

A lawyer that is recommended by others is probably a good choice. You can learn who others are recommending by checking with friends/family that might have used a personal injury law lawyer in the past, on the internet and by looking at their awards and recognition.

Also ensure that the selected lawyer is licensed in the state by the American Bar Association. You can visit their website or call a toll-free number to find lawyers in your area who meet this criteria. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry.

The Bottom Line

Personal injury is not an easy thing to endure. And if you drive a vehicle, you’re taking a chance every single day that you get behind the wheel of your vehicle.
Sadly it affects life in many ways, and often for a long time ahead in the future. Rather than add more insult to the enjoy, make sure that you take the time to find a personal injury law lawyer that will help you get justice where it is deserved.

Home Confinement

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Home ConfinementIf your client is facing home confinement then it is important that you understand the process, obligations and options available to them. Home confinement is being used more and more to allow defendants to stay out of jail while their case is being processed. If they violate the terms of home confinement it does have the potential for influencing their eventual sentencing and appeal.

What are the restrictions?

The restrictions for home confinement have to be clearly defined during the court order. The judge should define the address to which the person is confined, the hours in which they are allowed to travel and distance around the property that can be traveled as well. The judge will also determine what will be the process of checking in for the individual as well. Some of the home confinement devices work based upon an alert box that your client may be responsible for renting as well. Others require a land-line, and that can cause issues.

Phone access

Less people have land-lines installed in their home than ever before thanks to the prevalence of the mobile phone. Most of the home confinement devices offered are reliant on a land-line for the check-in process. Mobile phones will not be allowed for this stage of the confinement. If your client does not have a land-line the fastest resolution is to either stage in a home that has one, or to enter into an agreement with a local phone company to have one installed. It may increase the cost of the confinement, but it can be a necessity in having access to your client while preparing for sentencing, appeal, or even the original court case.

Work allowances

You can use the work allowance option to also allow for your client to travel back and forth to your office for meetings. Make sure that the judge includes your address, as well as the work one if that applies. You do not want to assume that you can use a work allowance for a legal meeting. Should there be a check-in at the work site and your client not be there it can be considered to be a violation of the agreement.

Travel times

The last thing you have to make sure is done correctly is the allowance for travel times and methods. Some of the newer home confinement devices also have GPS tracking. You do not want a review to show a violation of the agreed travel routes. Not only could this get the confinement revoked, it could provide fuel for speculation from the other side. Get top injury lawyers.