When Does a Police Officer Have Probable Cause to Search a Home or Car?

This video features Shannon L. Kennedy, a Civil Rights attorney based in New Mexico.

New Mexico Civil Rights Lawyer

Video Transcript:

Rob Rosenthal:

What constitutes probable cause for a police officer to search your home, car, or a person? We ask New Mexico lawyer Shannon Kennedy for this Ask the Lawyers Quick Question.

Shannon Kennedy:

Probable cause is when an officer has more than a hunch that crime is afoot, so an officer can't operate on just a feeling or a hunch, or a suspicion or a bias that crime is happening. There has to be facts that meet the element of a crime to have probable cause to arrest. That doesn't mean they have to prove the crime at that moment beyond a reasonable doubt. But they have to have facts that they can articulate for a judge to say that we need to move to protect our community because we know these facts that add up to a crime.

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