probable cause

Popular Terms
Circumstances and facts which give rise to a reasonable belief that an accused is guilty of a crime. Probable cause is not a proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but indicates only that enough grounds exist to arrest the accused and put him or her to trial.

Use 'probable cause' in a Sentence

The police had probable cause that the man was involved in selling drugs and so were able to get a search warrant.
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If you are driving a car and are pulled over by the police, they must have probable cause to search your vehicle.
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Although the police did not have a warrant to enter the building, a witness saying she heard screams inside the building gave the police officers probable cause to break in
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