Unfortunately, the answer is yes, you can be arrested without physical evidence of guilt. However, the police must have probable cause before they can legally arrest you.
Definition of Probable Cause
The 4th Amendment requires probable cause before officers can receive a warrant, conduct a search of private property, or make an arrest. Though there is no official definition of probable cause, it requires a “reasonable” belief based on articulable facts that a crime was committed either by the person being arrested or that evidence of crime will be on the premises to be searched. Sometimes that can be based on witness statements, or officer observations.
Probable cause is a vague term that can change from case to case. If you believe you or a loved one were arrested without probable cause, reach out to an experience criminal defense attorney right away.
Ways You Can Be Arrested
Once the police have obtained probable cause to arrest you, they may slap the cuffs on you right then and there, or if you are not present, they might obtain a warrant for your arrest. They may come grab you, or they may ask you to voluntarily turn yourself in on the warrant. Sometimes, for simple misdemeanors, they don’t need to arrest you, and simply will ask you to sign a complaint agreeing to show up to court at a designated time and date. If you don’t sign and agree to show up, they will arrest you.
Though evidence of guilt is not required for an arrest, probable cause is. Request a free consultation with Adam Pollack if you believe you’ve been arrested without cause.