Essay The Doctrine Of The Plain View Doctrine

1001 Words Mar 24th, 2016 5 Pages
The plain view doctrine is a further exception to the warrant requirement. The doctrine outlines three requirements for law enforcement to validly seize an item without a warrant. “First, the police officer must lawfully make an ‘initial intrusion’ or otherwise properly be in a position from which he can view a particular area.” Any item the officer sees from a place of lawful access will have been viewed from a lawful vantage point. Second, the item must possess some quality to make it immediately apparent to the officer that she may seize it. Generally, contraband is readily identifiable. However, even readily identifiable contraband may not be seized under the plain view doctrine unless the initial intrusion onto the property is lawful. Furthermore, the doctrine “may not be used to extend a general exploratory search from one object to another until something incriminating at last emerges.” Third, the officer must have a “lawful right of access” to the item itself. This right of access frequently springs from an exigency, such as a threat that the item will be removed or destroyed.
B. Supreme Court Precedent
The implied invitation is limited to actions that are customary and usual. As a result, the justification for implying a license is undermined when an officer’s behavior goes beyond what property owners would ordinarily tolerate from a visitor. In Florida v. Riley, Justice Brennan’s dissent articulates the principle that “[t]he simple inquiry whether [a]…

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