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NCJ Number: 150001 Find in a Library
Title: Fourth Amendment: The Plain Touch Exception to the Warrant Requirement
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:84  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter-Spring 1994)  Pages:743-768
Author(s): S M MacIntosh
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 26
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article critiques the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Minnesota v. Dickerson (1993), which adopted the plain touch doctrine, which allows officers to seize evidence recognized through the sense of touch during a lawful patdown without a warrant.
Abstract: This analysis examines the Court's interpretation of the plain view doctrine and concludes that the Court properly held that the plain touch doctrine is analogous to the plain view doctrine. The author argues, however, that the Court provided a vague outline of the requirements of this newly recognized exception to the warrant requirement. The Court wavered between two different standards of certainty, referring to both "probable cause" and "immediately apparent." This article argues that probable cause is the proper standard of certainty. Additionally, the Court required that the officer have lawful access to the object before seizing it, without explaining how this requirement functions in the plain touch context. The author further argues that the Court improperly upheld the lower court's reversal. The Court should have satisfied any doubt about the scope of the search by remanding the case for further proceedings. 202 footnotes
Main Term(s): US Supreme Court decisions
Index Term(s): Police policies and procedures; Stop and frisk; Warrantless search
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