CRJ 325 SU Wk 3 Reasonable Suspicion vs Probable Cause in Criminal Activity Discussion


Week 3 Assignment – Reasonable Suspicion Versus Probable Cause


Law enforcement officers use two methods to investigate possiblecriminal activity: reasonable suspicion and probable cause. Reasonablesuspicion means officers have a reasonable belief, sometimes called ahunch, that criminal activity may have occurred. They have no hardevidence to support their belief. Probable cause is more concrete.Probable cause means officers are not just suspicious that criminalactivity has occurred; they think it’s likely, or probable, thatcriminal activity has taken place. Many times reasonable suspicion mayevolve into probable cause. This is not always the case, however.Initial contact between an officer and a subject often involvesreasonable suspicion rather than probable cause.

This is a two-part assignment. Be sure to complete both parts.


Part 1

In Part 1 of this assignment you are required to write a one- to two-page narrative in which you:

  • Distinguish between reasonable suspicion and probable cause.
    • Be sure to illustrate your distinctions between these two terms with examples.
  • Develop a checklist with a series of questions to ask whenassessing reasonable suspicion Versus probably cause (for example, Whatdrew your attention to this particular person?).
Part 2

In Part 2 of this assignment, you are required to examine the 10 scenarios contained in the Reasonable Suspicion Versus Probable Cause Template [DOCX].

  • Note: The first scenario is completed for you as an example to guide your work on the remaining nine scenarios.

For each scenario in the template:

  1. Determine whether reasonable suspicion or probable cause applies to each scenario.
  2. Justify your determinations.
  3. Use three sources to support your writing.
    • Choose sources that are credible, relevant, and appropriate.
    • Cite each source listed on your source page at least one time within your assignment.
    • For help with research, writing, and citation, access the library or review library guides.
    • You may use your textbook as one of your resources.

Important: Be sure to submit your one- to two-page narrative and the completed Reasonable Suspicion Versus Probable Cause Template to the assignment submission area.


This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. Forassistance and information, please refer to the Strayer WritingStandards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with yourprofessor for any additional instructions. Note the following:

  • The preferred method is for your narrative on reasonablesuspicion versus probable cause to be typed, double-spaced, using TimesNew Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides. TheReasonable Suspicion Versus Probable Cause Template may besingle-spaced.
  • Include a cover page containing the assignment title, yourname, your professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The coverpage is not included in the required page length.
  • Include a source list page. Citations and references mustfollow SWS format. The source list page is not included in the requiredpage length.