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probable cause

noun, Law.
reasonable ground for a belief, as, in a criminal case, that the accused was guilty of the crime, or, in a civil case, that grounds for the action existed: used especially as a defense to an action for malicious prosecution.
Origin of probable cause
1670-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for probable cause
  • He also discovered the probable cause: a blood clot in her leg.
  • Once again, the standard is probable cause to initiate a stop.
  • And, for the record, viruses have been considered a probable cause of this condition since it was first recognized.
  • Nor do police need probable cause to search this information.
  • Unlike warrants, subpoenas can be issued with less than probable cause.
  • To search those places, officers or agents normally need a warrant, supported by probable cause.
  • The plan creates a probable cause hearing to take place prior to the revocation hearing.
  • probable cause will look different in every case, but in the computer search context a few common scenarios have emerged.
  • In paragraph three set forth the facts and observations that establish probable cause.
British Dictionary definitions for probable cause

probable cause

(law) reasonable grounds for holding a belief, esp such as will justify bringing legal proceedings against a person or will constitute a defence to a charge of malicious prosecution
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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