Probable Cause in Texas | What to Know

handcuffs and gavel

In Texas, a police officer must have reasonable grounds before making an arrest. To learn more, keep reading and give our firm a call today to speak with one of our dedicated and experienced Houston criminal defense attorneys. We are on your side.

What is probable cause and how is it proved?

Recognize that in the state of Texas, probable cause is the key matter looked at in the arrest process. This is because police are required to have this when making an arrest or obtaining an arrest warrant from a judge.

To be able to establish probable cause, police officers must be able to show actual circumstances indicating them to believe that a suspect committed a crime. A police officer cannot demonstrate probable cause by merely stating that he or she just had a premonition that the defendant was a burglar, as there is no sufficient ground behind that assertion.

Keep in mind that judges, not police officers, have the last word on whether probable cause is present. A police officer may be open to accepting that the facts establish probable cause. However, if a judge looks at that same information and disagrees, then probable cause does not exist, or never did exist if the question is being determined after an arrest.

Note that probable cause may have existed at the time of an arrest even if the defendant did not actually do anything wrong. Essentially, an arrest is valid as long as it is based on probable cause, even if the arrested person is innocent.

Do not wait to give our firm a call today if you have questions or concerns about this, or if you would like to consult about the details of your case and your options.

How much information is required to persuade a court or judge of probable cause?

The most common inquiry is how much information do police officers need to persuade a judge to administer an arrest warrant or to justify a warrantless arrest? Most of the time, probable cause requires more than a mere suspicion that a suspect committed a crime, but not as much information as would be needed to prove the suspect guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

As you can see, probable cause is a conceptual idea, and there really is no firm definition of it. As a result, courts have to choose case by case whether there is or was probable cause for an arrest. Give our firm a call today to learn more. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are on your side each step of the way.


If you have sustained a serious injury or are facing criminal charges, contact the Gonzalez Law Group today to learn more about how we can help you through every step of the legal process ahead.