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Probable Cause Determinations Required Within 48 Hours Of Warrantless Arrest

The U.S. Supreme Court held that probable cause determinations for
warrantless arrests must be conducted within 48 hours, regardless of
intervening weekends or holidays.

Donald McLaughlin. brought 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Riverside County
(California) and county officials challenging the County's timeliness in
conducting probable cause determinations for persons arrested without a
warrant. At the time, the County's policy was to hold combined probable
cause/arraignment hearings within 2 days, excluding weekends and holidays.
This could result in a delay of 5 days if a person was arrested late in the
week and up to 7 days if it was over the Thanksgiving holiday.

After granting class certification, a U.S. district court issued a
preliminary injunction requiring the County to conduct probable cause
determinations for individuals arrested without a warrant "within 36 hours
of arrest, except in. exigent circumstances." The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court
of Appeals, 888 F.2d 1276 (9th Cir. 1989), affirmed.

The U.S. Supreme Court vacated and remanded, holding: 1) Probable cause
determinations for warrantless arrests must be conducted "promptly."
Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 95 S.Ct. 854, 43 L.Ed. 54 (1975). 2) "In
order to satisfy Gerstein's promptness requirement, a jurisdiction that
chooses to combine probable cause determinations with other pretrial
proceedings must do so as soon as is reasonably feasible, but in no event
later than 48 hours after arrest," regardless of intervening weekends or
holidays, "or the fact that in a particular case it may take longer to
consolidate pretrial proceedings."

See index for other cites in this case. See: County of Riverside v.
McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44, 111 S.Ct. 1661, 114 L.Ed.2d 49 (1991).

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