Although there is not a precise definition of probable cause and may vary slightly between people. As stated in the Supreme Court Case Draper v. United States “the facts and circumstances within their [the arresting officers’] knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy information [are] sufficient in themselves to warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that” an offense has been or is being committed. (Draper v. U.S, 1959) Probable cause deals with probabilities just as the name implies. Probable cause requires a fair probability of a crime committed. When dealing with how much probable cause is needed to secure an arrest warrant, the judge will look at the totality of the circumstances and see if it meets the threshold of probable cause per the judge. The officer will have to articulate the facts. If you put it in perspective of a percentage, reasonable suspicion may be 15-25%, and probable cause would be 51%-100%.


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