What Is a Probable Cause Statement?

A probable cause statement is a fact-based written account of the evidence and circumstances associated with a crime. It is information provided by law enforcement to support the assertion that a suspect committed the crime.

The statement is part of a written affidavit supporting the arrest of the suspect, and it provides the basis for a search warrant. It is a valid arrest if the law enforcement officer had probable cause at the time of the arrest, even if the person arrested had done nothing wrong. A judge is the only one who determines if probable cause has been established, not the police.