Is the use of cause within this context correct?:

Impeachment does not even require probable cause that a crime has been committed.

I've looked through many dictionaries and none of them did define cause as evidence or proof, which are ,I believe, the intended meanings of cause above. Do you know of any other meanings of cause that could explain its usage above?

1 Answer 1


In this case it is the definition of the phrase "Probable Cause":

sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed or that certain property is connected with a crime. Probable cause must exist for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest without a warrant, search without a warrant, or seize property in the belief the items were evidence of a crime. While some cases are easy (pistols and illicit drugs in plain sight, gunshots, a suspect running from a liquor store with a clerk screaming "help"), actions "typical" of drug dealers, burglars, prostitutes, thieves, or people with guilt "written across their faces," are more difficult to categorize. "Probable cause" is often subjective, but if the police officer's belief or even hunch was correct, finding stolen goods, the hidden weapon or drugs may be claimed as self-fulfilling proof of probable cause. Technically, probable cause has to exist prior to arrest, search or seizure.

-- Law.com definition

Another phrase that utilizes this is "beyond probable cause" which can be defined as "There is no doubt."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .