Criminal Procedure-Probable Cause Article Summary
Probable cause is a standard of reasonable belief, based on facts. Probable cause is necessary to sue someone in a civil court, or to arrest and prosecute someone in a criminal court. Before a person can be sued, arrested, or prosecuted the plaintiff, or the police and prosecutor must have enough that would lead a reasonable person to believe the claim or charge is true. Probable cause sets a limit on police power. A police officer cannot arrest a person just because they want to. The officer must have a reasonable amount of suspicion or evidence to stop or detain them, and probable cause to charge or arrest them. An officer must always meet the criteria of probable cause before taking action with regard to criminal activity. If the officer does not have probable cause the case will be dismissed and the officer will be open to a lawsuit. The context of the Criminal Procedure is important to the criminal justice system as it allows rules and regulations to adhere to the court system in criminal proceeding (Zalman, 2008, p. 10). A criminal procedure starts with the first contact of a police officer through investigating and interrogation. Next is the pretrial process, charges by the prosecutor, adjudication claiming guilty or innocent or plea bargaining, the sentencing process, and last the appellate review by a higher court (Zalman, 2008, p. 10). Criminal procedure and probable cause correlate within each other in the criminal justice system. Cell phone tracking and or hacking has been a controversial issue because of the rights that stand behind it. As a team we have selected to cover the current topic on cell phone tracking and how the search and arrest warrants correlate with probable cause, exceptions to warrant requirements, defining search and seizure arrest and reasonableness in conjunction to the criminal justice system. “Instead of seeking warrants based on probable cause, some federal prosecutors are applying for orders based on a standard lower than probable cause derived from two statutes: the Stored Communications Act and the Pen Register Statute, according to judges and industry lawyers” (Nakashima, E. November 23, 2007). Although these two acts aid as loop holes for standard lower probable cause, in order to obtain a search and or arrest warrant a judge must have probable cause to believe that a person is responsible for the crime in order to issue the warrant. “Probable cause is when the facts and circumstances, both reasonable and trustworthy, are sufficient to warrant the belief that a crime has been or is being committed” ("Criminal Law Lawyer Source", 2013). The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects all United States citizens “the right of the people to secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons things to be seized” ("U.S Constitution", 2010). The article mentioned that officials are constantly asking cell phone carriers to furnish real time tracking data available so that tracking criminals, fugitives and drug traffickers are at so that they can be monitored. When the fourth amendment was set in place it was for the security of people and having privacy from the authorities to have boundaries. Unauthorized cell phone tracking can seem like an invasion of privacy and or illegal but in fact it is many courts see it as tailing the cars, or tracking K-9. Even though cell phone tracking does not violate any of the civil rights, maybe it is something that is circumstantial and even of it is not considered to be in violation of the Fourth Amendment it is something that can be debatable. Like many say that a cell phone belongs to an individual and is part of a person, the Fourth Amendment clearly states “the right...
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