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Indirect Sources of Probable Cause

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(Hearsay Evidence)

Hearsay is any second-hand information. The most common situation involves informants. The history of Informant Law has evolved from:

Aguilar test (1964) -- A two-prong test requiring the affidavit spell out the underlying circumstances of how the informant gained their knowledge AND a statement of the informant's veracity, or record of truthfulness.

Spinelli test (1969) -- A three-prong test requiring all the elements of Aguilar plus an assessment of how accurate the information from the informant might be from a police perspective. Is it against the informant's best interests, for example, to tell the police?

Gates test (1983) -- This replaces both Aguilar-Spinelli tests with a totality of circumstances test, requiring the police to think both like an offender as well as a reasonable man (subjective and objective test). The totality of circumstances test is discussed under the Stop & Frisk lecture, so it's a much looser standard associated more with reasonable suspicion than probable cause.

Direct Sources of Probable Cause

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