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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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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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