Pretrial Procedures, warrants, probable cause


Assume a law enforcement officer has probable cause to arrest a defendant for armed assault, and he also has probable cause to believe that the person is hiding in a third person’s garage, which is attached to the house.

  1. What warrants, if any, does the officer need to enter the garage to arrest the defendant? What if the officer is in hot pursuit of the defendant? What if the defendant is known to be injured and unarmed? Provide evidence to support your answer.
  2. Formulate a set of circumstances in which there is probable cause to search but not probable cause to arrest or in which there is probable cause to both arrest and to search.
  3. Mr. A walks into a police station, drops three wristwatches on a table, and tells an officer that Mr. B robbed a local jewelry store 2 weeks ago. Mr. A will not say anything else in response to police questioning. A quick investigation reveals that the three watches were among a number of items stolen in the jewelry store robbery
  4. Do the police have probable cause to do any or all of the following?

Arrest Mr. A

Arrest Mr. B

Search Mr. A’s home

Search Mr. B’s home

  1. If you answered no to any of the above, explain why in detail. If you answered yes to any of them, draft the complaint or affidavit for a warrant or explain why a warrant is not needed.

Sample paper

Pretrial Procedures, warrants, probable cause

Often when people are questioned by officers of law question individuals, they are afraid to foot away from the law enforcers. What most individuals do not know is that until they have been formally detained or arrested, these law officers have no power or authority to prevent them from walking away. However, when an officer obstructs an individual from footing away, that individual has already been arrested as the Constitution allows them to make arrests provided that they have probable cause. The primary aim of this assignment is to address whether the law officer had probable cause to rely that the suspect is hiding in the third person’s garage as well as assume that the police officer who may or may not have probable cause to arrest a defendant can proceed with the arrest (Strutin, 2015).  Moreover, the assignment will attempt to explain whether the officer in question needs or does not need the warrant to search the premises as well as arrest the suspect who is in the third person’s property.  Also, this study will attempt to identify if the law officer of the law is in hot pursuit with the accused and if the suspect can be described as injured and armed and explain the probable cause to arrest Mr. A and Mr. B and hunt their residences.

Question 1 a

The constitution of the country states clearly that every citizen has the right to be untroubled in his person, house, paper and effects against unwarranted hunts and consfications. As a result, for the officer of the law to enter the garage of the third person to arrest the defendant, he needs to have a warrant to arrest as required by the constitution. Moreover, for the officer to obtain this warrant he or she has probable cause, subsidized by the swearing of affirmation and especially expounding on the location or premises to be hunted, and the person and things to be confiscated (Israel, 2014). No officer of the law has the right and the power to an unwarranted search and confiscate considering that the rights of the defendant or the accused are protected unless there is a court warrant supported by oath of affirmation.  Moreover, it is worth noting that an officer of law executing a warrant to search is always limited to search in the area and place stated in the warrant only. Thus, the warrant to search, in this case, should clearly state and describe the third person’s garage for it to be valid.  Besides, a misidentification will eventually nullify the warrant of frisk unless the officer in the charge could not mistake the area and place to be frisked.

Question 1 B

Not every hunt, confiscation or arrest must be made under a legally executed warrant. Often, the officers of law pursue suspects when they escape or run, but have a reasonable suspicion and probable cause to pursue them. As a result, the constitution gives power and authority to officers of the law to arrest suspects and defendants whom they believe they are in the process of committing a crime or has already committed the crime without a warrant of arrest.  In such a case, the officer may search the defendant’s belongings and residence to obtain the necessary evidence as well as protecting himself and the general public. Such arrest cases are common in the case of hot pursuit (O’Malley, 2015). In most cases, when a suspect or a defendant is caught in hot pursuit, the officer has the right to search the impounded vehicle to make an inventory of its contents as well as gathering evidence.  Thus, if the officers of the law are not in hot pursuit of the defendant and have no warrant to search the garage, they have no right to arrest or search the third person’s garage.

Question 1C

Someone commits act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. However, not all criminal activities go as intended and at times the defendant may injure his or herself in the process. A defendant can violate his or her rights of protection when they have illegal arms or have committed a crime against the state, a police officer or another individual. In such a case, the police officer handling the case has the right and the Authority to protect and defend the general public from criminal himself or herself and any criminal acts and activities (Laurin, 2014). Thus, the defendant has a right to see a medic and receive medication for his or her injuries, but they will be arrested or confined to a secure location. Upon fully recovering from the injuries, the defendant will eventually be sent to jail to await their arraignment in a court of law as well counsel.

Question 2

Probable cause widely invokes to the demands of the criminal law that the police officers have concrete and adequate evidence to arrest a suspect, frisk or even confiscate property about an alleged crime. Often, for an officer to secure an arrest warrant, he or she has to sign a testimony indicating that the facts as to why probable cause exists to detain a person. On the other side, probable cause for detention is legal when the events and scenarios within the police’s evidence would make a sensible individual  to believe that the accused has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime (Rivera, 2016). The circumstances below show when both probable cause for arrest and probable cause for search are valid.

Take a case of Johnson, a drug peddler in the street of New York. He gets his drugs from a neighboring state of New Jersey only to sell them in New York. Two neighbors have reported suspicious activities in Johnson’s house, especially at night. The police conduct an investigation and find out that Johnson is a drug dealer. If the police force presents their case to a judge, they will obtain a search warrant to search and seize any drugs in Johnson’s house. If any drugs are impounded, the officers have the rights to detain and arrest Johnson.

Question 3

Arrest Mr. A – the police officer at the station has the right and the power to detain Mr. A with or without probable cause for handling stolen goods. Also, the police has the authority to frisk Mr. A if he relies beyond reasonable doubt that he could be one of the people who robbed the store and turned himself in only to blame Mr. B which would give the police reasons and probable cause to conduct a hunt. The officer may detain Mr. A and confiscate the three watches as evidence for some time before being released (O’Malley, 2015). However, he should file a stolen property report to justify his actions as well as pave the way for an investigation regarding the robbed local jewelry store.

Arrest Mr. B – The officer at the station must prove that he or she has a reasonable doubt and probable cause that Mr. B was involved in the reported robbery. As a result, the officer must obtain a warrant of search as well as arrest from a court judge to proceed with the search and arrest.  The quick investigation conducted that revealed that the three watches were actually among the stolen jewelry is not enough, and Mr. A needs to sign an oath of affirmation about his information of the robbery considering that he was not willing to say anything regarding the robbery when questioned.

Search Mr. A house – considering that Mr. A was already in possession of stolen goods; the officers have the right and power to search his house with or without a warrant.  With the stolen goods in his possession, the police officers may believe that he has already committed the crime and for public safety, they should search his residence.

Search Mr. B house – considering that there is no enough evidence that Mr. B participated in the robbery except the world of mouth from Mr. A who refused to answer any questions about the crime; the officers need to obtain a warrant for search and arrest since Mr. is protected by the united states constitution (Laurin, 2014). The judge must establish credibility and reliability in the facts provided by the police before giving out the warrant.


Israel, J. &. (2014). Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Limitations in a Nutshell, 8th. . West Academic.

Laurin, J. E. (2014). Quasi-Inquisitorialsim: Accounting for Deference in Pretrial Criminal Procedure. . Notre Dame L. Rev., 90,, 783.

O’Malley, M. (. (2015). Witness intimidation in the digital age: intimidation in pretrial proceedings-the Philadelphia experience. Prosecutor, . Journal of the National District Attorneys Association, 49(1), , 16-24.

Rivera, A. (. (2016). Probable Cause and Due Process in International Extradition.

Strutin, K. (. (2015). DNA without Warrant: Decoding Privacy, Probable Cause and Personhood. Browser Download This Paper.


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