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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 63104 Find in a Library
Title: PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE - CONCLUSION
Journal: FBI LAW ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN  Volume:48  Issue:10  Dated:(OCTOBER 1979)  Pages:27-31
Author(s): J R DAVIS
Corporate Author: Federal Bureau of Investigation
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, DC 20535-0001
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Publisher: https://www.fbi.gov 
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE PERMITS THE WARRANTLESS SEIZURE OF ITEMS IF THE ITEMS ARE DISCOVERED INADVERTENTLY AND ARE IMMEDIATELY APPARENT AS EVIDENCE OF CRIME.
Abstract: THIS ARTICLE EXAMINES THE PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COOLIDGE V. NEW HAMPSHIRE CASE. IT FOCUSES ON TWO REQUIREMENTS FOR A VALID PLAIN VIEW SEIZURE: (1) THE DISCOVERY OF THE ITEM MUST BE 'INADVERTANT'; AND (2) THE ITEM TO BE SEIZED MUST BE 'IMMEDIATELY APPARENT' AS CONTRABAND OR EVIDENCE OF A CRIME. THE CONTROVERSY OFTEN SURROUNDS INADVERTANCE AS A CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED ELEMENT OF THE PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE. BOTH THE BROAD AND NARROW INTERPRETATIONS OF 'INADVERTANCE' ARE ILLUSTRATED WITH EXAMPLES. THE VIEW EXPRESSED IN UNITED STATES V. HARE REFLECTS THE APPROACH OF MOST CASES. THIS RULE UPHOLDS THE FOURTH AMENDMENT PRINCIPLE THAT, WHENEVER PRACTICABLE, A SEARCH WARRANT MUST BE OBTAINED PRIOR TO A SEARCH OR SEIZURE, BUT THAT OFFICERS SHOULD NOT BE PENALIZED FOR SEIZURES OF CONTRABAND IN PLAIN VIEW SITUATIONS WHEREIN THE OFFICERS HAD INSUFFICIENT FACTS PRIOR TO THE SEIZURE TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A WARRANT. THE SECOND REQUIREMENT, THAT AN ITEM BE 'IMMEDIATELY APPARENT,' IS COMPLICATED BY QUESTIONS ON THE DEGREE OF CERTAINTY WITH WHICH THE ITEMS IN PLAIN VIEW MUST BE APPARENT AS EVIDENCE. THE STANDARD ADOPTED HAS BEEN THE 'PROBABLE CAUSE' TO BELIEVE THAT AN ITEM IS CONTRABAND OR OTHERWISE INCRIMINATING. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (RFC)
Index Term(s): Evidence collection; Exclusionary rule; Judicial decisions; Police legal limitations; Search warrants; Warrantless search
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63104

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