What is probable cause and reasonable suspicion in Florida?
Answer: So probable cause is the standard, if you went on a thermometer from 0 to 100 degrees, probable cause is somewhere around 20, 25 degrees and that is the standard that a police officer needs in order to arrest somebody. So an officer anywhere in this country would need probable cause to arrest an individual in believing that a crime was committed.Understand that’s just for the arrest. When they come to court, it’s up to the state attorney, the district attorney, however you want to call it, to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. So the standard for an arrest, probable cause. Standard to be convicted, which is a much higher standard—probably 98 degrees in my scenario or 99 degrees—is beyond the exclusion of a reasonable doubt.
Reasonable suspicion, we use that mostly in traffic stop cases. Lower standard than probable cause. It’s a mere suspicion and that’s what we use typically when we think that or when a police officer thinks that someone is committing some kind of violation. Reasonable suspicion to detain somebody. Then if the arrest occurs, then they have to establish probable cause.