Search Warrant Vs Arrest Warrant

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Discuss the concept of reasonable suspicion versus probable cause. Why do some things require one level and others have a higher standard? Which one is the higher standard? Which one is required for a stop and frisk? Which for a search warrant? Which for a traffic stop? Which for an arrest?

The terms probable cause and reasonable suspicion are often confused and misused. While both have to do with a police officer’s overall impression of a situation, the two terms have different repercussions on a person’s rights, the proper protocol and the outcome of the situation.

Definition of Reasonable Suspicion
1. Reasonable suspicion means that any reasonable person would suspect that a crime was in the process of being committed, had been committed or was going to be committed very soon.
Legal Repercussions
2. If a police officer has reasonable suspicion in a situation, he may frisk a suspect or detain the suspect briefly. Reasonable suspicion does not allow for searching a person or car, and is not enough for a search warrant or arrest.
Definition of Probable Cause
3. Probable cause means that a reasonable person would believe that a crime was in the process of being committed, had been committed, or was going to be committed.

Read more: Definitions of Probable Cause vs. Reasonable Suspicion |

Answer by thomas p
It is whatever the Magistrate or trial judge decides the difference is. You should realize, while you are young, that law is nothing more than politics dressed up as a justice machine. You might think of the degrees of proof along the lines of percentages. Maybe all reasonable doubt is 85-90 percent, probable cause is minimal evidence, and reasonable suspicion is a bit more than conjecture. You can do a search on the net for the difference between reasonable and probable cause as defined by the Courts in the U.S. It is not a major difference. You can arrest with probable cause. You cannot always arrest in cases of reasonable suspicion, as I understand the latter term.

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