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PROBABLE CAUSE Scenario Results

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The judge found that the officer had probable cause to make the arrest.
Pringle was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison without the
possibility of parole. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed his
conviction.

The state supreme court overturned this decision on appeal on a 4-3
vote. It held that the police did not have probable cause to arrest Pringle
because there was insufficient evidence to show that he had knowledge
of the drugs and “dominion or control” over them. It argued that, under
the state’s reasoning, if contraband were found in a 12-passenger van or
even a place such as movie theater, the police would be permitted to
place everyone there under arrest until someone confessed to possessing
the contraband, which would be constitutionally acceptable. The dissent
argued that the majority had erroneously blended the probable cause
standard for an arrest and the sufficiency of evidence standard for a
conviction. It also argued that the two cases cited by the majority that
specifically dealt with probable cause for an arrest were factually
distinguishable from the present case.

The U. S. Supreme Court reversed the state Supreme Court decision. It
unanimously held that the officer had probable cause to arrest Pringle,
and thus the arrest did not contravene the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendments.

				
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posted:11/23/2011
language:English
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