UNDERSTANDING PROBABLE CAUSE IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
Like most people in Pennsylvania, you have likely heard that the authorities need probable cause to arrest someone. But do you actually know what probable cause means?
In short, probable cause is an inference on the part of the authorities based on facts and circumstances that point to a crime having been or being committed.
At The Law Offices of John Della Rocca, Attorney John Della Rocca understands most people simply don't know their rights or how to properly assert them. If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI or face other criminal charges, John can help you make sense of what you're up against, defend your rights and help you take appropriate steps toward mitigating the consequences or having the charges dismissed.
When it comes to DUI arrests, there are generally three situations in which the authorities can lawfully pull someone over:
- At DUI checkpoints: DUI checkpoints allow the police to conduct suspicionless stops. Even if you are arrested on suspicion of DUI at one of these roadblocks, authorities must still follow rigid laws and procedures. If they fail to adhere to the rules, you can take steps to see that your case is thrown out.
- When there is reasonable suspicion: Many people struggle to understand the nuances of reasonable suspicion and probable cause. In short, if the arresting officer noticed that you were driving erratically or observed other facts or circumstances that raised his or her suspicions, the officer can pull you over. Reasonable doubt has a higher standard of proof and these standards must be met before the police can search you or make you submit to more rigorous testing such as a blood test. As your attorney, John can look at the facts and determine whether the police acted with reasonable suspicion, had probable cause or just acted on a hunch.
- When there are vehicle code violations: If your tabs are expired, your car has a broken taillight or you drove the wrong direction down a one-way street, the police can stop you. Once pulled over, if the police smell alcohol on your breath, they may arrest you on suspicion of driving under the influence.
John Della Rocca can review your case to determine if the authorities acted appropriately. He can then negotiate with the prosecution to arrange a more favorable outcome or even take your case to trial. No matter if this is your first offense or your fifth, John is ready to put his 20 years of experience to work defending your freedom.