Fellow Officer Rule

A rule under which an arrest is deemed valid and supported by probable cause, even if the arresting officer lacked personal knowledge of facts sufficient to provide probable cause, so long as the arresting officer acts based on the sufficient knowledge of another police officer or the collective knowledge of the law enforcement agency.

“Under the fellow officer rule, a police officer can make a lawful arrest even without personal knowledge sufficient to establish probable cause, so long as the officer is acting ‘upon the direction of or as a result of communication with’ a fellow officer or another police agency in possession of information sufficient to constitute probable cause for the arrest. Information received from another police officer is presumptively reliable . Where, however, an arrest is challenged by a motion to suppress, the prosecution bears the burden of establishing that the officer imparting the information had probable cause to act.”

Source: People v. Ketcham, 93 N.Y.2d 416, 419-420 (1999)

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