What Is An Arrest?

Arrests may be made either on the basis of a warrant, or without a warrant. In either case, there is a prerequisite of probable cause, which must be found by a judicial officer, as required by the Fourth Amendment and by Article I, paragraph 7 of the New Jersey Constitution. Giordenllo v. United States,  357 U.S. 480, 485-486 (1958); State v. Sims, 75 N.J. 337, 353 (1978); State v. Cullars, 225           N.J. Super. 32, 37-38 (App. Div.), certify. Denied,  111 N.J. 605 (1998); R. 3:3-1. Probable cause to arrest an individual “is something less than proof needed to convict and something more than raw, unsupported suspicion.” State v. Davis, 50 N.J. 16, 23-24 (1967), cert. denied, 389 U.S. 1054 (1968). See also State v. Waltz, 61 N.J. 83, 87 (1972). It is generally defined as “a well-grounded suspicion or belief on that part of the . . . arresting officer that a crime has bee committed.” State v. Burnett, 42 N.J. 377, 387 (1964); State v. Guerrero, 232 N.J. Super.  507, 511 (App. Div. 1989). See also State v. Moskal, 246 N.J. Super. 12, 21 (App. Div. 1991). Phrased differently, the formulation of probable cause to arrest is as follows: “[p]robable cause exists where the facts and circumstances within [the arresting officers’] knowledge and of which they had reasonable 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.” State v. Sims, 75 N.J. at 354, quoting from Draper v. United States, 358 U.S. 307, 313 (1959). Hearsay is admissible in support of this probable cause determination, including reliance upon informant information, but the hearsay information must be shown to be objectively trustworthy and reliable under all the circumstances. Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S 213, 238 (1983); Jones v. United States,  362 U.S.  257, 269 (1960); State v. Lewis,  116 N.J. 477, 486 (1989); State v. Novembrino, 105 N.J. 95, 121-122 (1987). The determination of probable cause to arrest is not necessarily the same as the probable cause needed for issuance of a search warrant. State v. Chippero (II), 201 N.J. 14, 27-29 (2009).

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