Brief Fact Summary. Pringle appealed a conviction, based on lack of probable cause, when he was arrested for paraphernalia found in the back of another person’s a car, while sitting in the front.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a reasonable officer can conclude that a defendant is guilty, probable cause exists.
Facts. Respondent, Pringle, was the front-seat passenger in a car that was stopped for speeding. Upon stopping the car, the arresting officer found money in the glove compartment and cocaine in the back-seat armrest. The officer arrested all three occupants of the car and Pringle was convicted for possession with intent to distribute cocaine after he signed a written confession. Pringle appealed, arguing that probable cause to arrest him did not exist.
Issue. Whether the arrest of a front-seat passenger in a car driven by its owner lacks probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment when the basis for the arrest is paraphernalia found in the back of the car.