noun[mass noun] Law , chiefly North American
Reasonable grounds to believe that a particular person has committed a crime, especially to justify making a search or preferring a charge: warrants allow police to detain people, but not handcuff and search them without probable cause
More example sentences
- The test for reasonable and probable cause in a malicious prosecution case is the same as that in a claim based on false arrest or imprisonment.
- Ordinarily in criminal cases, a search warrant based on probable cause to suspect illegal activity is required.
- They have probable cause to believe a crime has occurred and that he has committed it.
Definition of probable cause in:
- The US English dictionary