Posted on 12/6/21

Texas prosecutors take drug crimes seriously, prosecuting them to the fullest extent. If you have been charged with a drug-related crime in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we recommend discussing your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney. One of the defenses your attorney may be able to raise on your behalf is a lack of probable cause. A lack of probable cause could lead to a dismissal of your drug charges.

What is Probable Cause?

If you have ever watched a police or law-related television show, you may have heard the term ‘probable cause.’ Under the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, citizens are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Texas Constitution grants this protection, as well. According to the Constitution, police must have probable cause before subjecting you to a valid search or seizure. Courts have interpreted the term ‘search-and-seizure’ to include every arrest, search, detention, or seizure of people or property by law enforcement officers.

In Texas, probable cause is a combination of facts and circumstances that lead law enforcement officers to think that a crime has been committed or would be committed. Police officers must directly observe the facts or circumstances that lead to their arrest or search. In every arrest, probable cause is a vital element, and it must exist before police officers can search or seize your property. It is essential to ensure that your Fourth Amendment rights have been upheld and that police officers have established probable cause before arresting you.

Probable Cause Before Making an Arrest

Sometimes police officers will obtain a warrant before they arrest someone for a drug-related charge. In this case, the Fourth Amendment requirement for probable cause is satisfied. Judges will not issue warrants unless they see evidence that probable cause exists.

Probable Cause After an Arrest Has Been Made

After a defendant has been arrested for a drug charge, he or she may appear in a probable cause hearing. In this hearing, the judge will determine whether there was enough probable cause for law enforcement officers to arrest the defendant. If the court determines that law enforcement officers did not have probable cause, they cannot hold the defendant in custody, and he or she will be released. A probable cause hearing must occur at least 48 hours after a person is arrested. Law enforcement officers cannot postpone a probable cause hearing for improper reasons, such as trying to find evidence that would support their arrest retroactively.

Discuss Your Case With a Dallas-Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney

Have you been arrested for a drug charge in the Dallas-Fort Worth or Plano area? If so, the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Abel Law Firm can provide you with an excellent legal defense. We will examine whether the police officer who arrested you had probable cause. If they lacked probable cause, we will seek to have the charges against you dismissed. Contact Abel Law Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

Flower Mound Office

Phone: 972.584.7837

Denton Office