plain view doctrine

plain view doctrine
In search and seizure context, objects falling in plain view of officer who has the right to be in position to have that view are subject to seizure without a warrant and may be introduced in evidence. Harris v. U. S., 390 U.S. 234, 236, 88 S.Ct. 992, 993, 19 L.Ed.2d 1069.
Under "plain view doctrine," warrantless seizure of incriminating evidence may be permitted when police are lawfully searching specified area if it can be established that police had prior justification for intrusion into area searched, that police inadvertently came across item seized, and that it was immediately apparent to the police that the item seized was evidence. Washington v. Chrisman, 455 U.S. 1, 5, 102 S.Ct. 812, 816, 70 L.Ed.2d 778.
However, the plain view doctrine may not be used to extend a general exploratory search from one object to another until something incriminating at last emerges. Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443, 466, 91 S.Ct. 2022, 2038, 29 L.Ed.2d 564

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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