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What does it mean for an arrest to be legal?

There are so many different ways people look at getting arrested. Some view it as a stigma. Others are so used to it they don't bat an eye when they hear of someone they know getting arrested. For some people, getting arrested can be illegal. So, we ask the question, what does it mean for an arrest to be legal? We will answer that question in today's post.

For an arrest to be legal there needs to be probable cause present. This means that the arresting officer cannot simply arrest you because they want to arrest you. There needs to be evidence, either concrete or verbal, that there was a crime committed or that a crime is going to be committed. This is a right that is protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Even though probable cause should be determined prior to an arrest by the police officer, it can still be determined after the arrest by a judge. This gives the officer the ability to arrest someone on good faith that there is probable cause and that it will be determined at a later time by a judge whether or not there actually was probable cause for the arrest.

There is nothing written in stone that explains how much evidence is needed for an officer or a judge to determine if probable cause is present for an arrest. The standard for probable cause was designed to be as flexible as possible so that police can conduct investigations at the same time that the population is protected.

Getting arrested in New York can be a scary situation for anyone. You might not know how to handle yourself or even what to do next. Your rights have been violated and you need to defend yourself immediately.

Source: FindLaw, "When is an Arrest a Legal Arrest?," accessed June 01, 2018

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