State v. Johnson

In State v. Johnson, 682 So. 2d 385 (Ala. 1996) the police gathered information indicating that either the defendant or his girlfriend injured her child in such a way as to cause the child's death. Although the trial court had concluded that it was not "any more reasonable" to suspect the defendant than his girlfriend, the Supreme Court held that "probable cause to arrest one person, however, does not depend on a lack of probable cause to arrest another person." The court explained that "the level of evidence needed for a finding of probable cause is low. An officer need not have enough evidence or information to support a conviction in order to have probable cause for arrest. Only the probability, and not a prima facie showing, of criminal activity is the standard of probable cause."