Civil Rights Law

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What Is The Plain View Doctrine?

Police officers do not need a warrant to seize contraband that is in plain view if the officer is in a place that he or she has a right to be.

EXAMPLE: Officer Doright is standing in your doorway talking to you about the weather. While talking, Officer Doright notices a bag of cocaine and a sawed-off shotgun on your couch. Officer Doright can legally seize these items without a search warrant because they are in plain view.