Probable Cause: What Does It Mean?

Our founding fathers were incredibly patriotic individuals who provided us with the best system of government in the world. They were also very intelligent. The Fourth Amendment was written into the Bill of Rights to ensure the privacy and security of all citizens against possible arbitrary intrusions by the state.

The Fourth Amendment provides "the right of the people to be 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 or things to be seized."

"Reasonable suspicion" is needed to investigate a possible crime; law enforcement must also have "probable cause" to execute a search or seizure in most cases. A magistrate must consider, in a common sense manner, all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit to determine whether there is a "fair probability" that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place. Probable cause is a fluid concept, but it is a more difficult standard to meet than reasonable suspicion.

Experienced Defense Representation

My name is Chris W. Blaylock, and I am a defense attorney. One of the first inquiries that my firm, the Law Offices of C.W. Blaylock, pursues is determining whether there was sufficient probable cause to perform a search or seizure, if there was no warrant. If there was a warrant, I am committed to making sure the affidavit was based upon true representations and that the warrant issued was not constitutionally deficient.

My office is in Santa Monica, and I have represented defendants in Los Angeles and throughout the Santa Monica area. If you believe that you have been charged with a crime after an unlawful search or seizure, do not hesitate to contact my firm, the Law Offices of C.W. Blaylock.