Free Essay On Plain View Searches: Constitutional Requirements
Plain View Searches
Under the operation of the Fourth Amendment, police interactions with individuals is limited to three forms; one, “intrusions [into] a person’s privacy,” arrests and incarcerations, and confiscation of property. If the activities do not fall within the ambit of a “warrantless search,” these must then be accompanied by the acquisition of warrants. A “warrantless search” can also be classified as a “plain view” search which is a “court-acknowledged” privilege, as mentioned in Katz v United States (Rutledge, 2006).
The plain view canon will operate in cases when persons have “no reasonable expectation of privacy” when the officers can use their senses in the discovery of the object. Though the doctrine is drawn from sight, this can be applicable in terms of discovery using the person’s other senses. The first category, “search related plain view,” is when the officer/s finds items in the course of searching for the items that these are looking for. The second category, “non- search-related plain view,” indicates to an intrusion that is not connected to the Fourth in any manner.
This can be engaged in a number of ways. One, the police officer is legally allowed to be at the location in the same manner that civilians can be. Two, the police have not done anything to amplify their resources in conducting the search. The second mandates that courts differentiate between “technological advancements” and routine gadgets such as flash lights and binoculars. For example, if an officer uses a flashlight, this is still regarded as plain eye sight; using an X-ray machine is not. In United States v Kim (1976), the United States District Court ruled that the government, in utilizing an extremely powerful telescope in its surveillance activities, “cannot have seen the material being read by the defendant and still not be engaged in a search (Samaha, 2015, pp. 86-87).
Rutledge, D (2006) “Seizing evidence in plain view” Retrieved 11 January 2016 from <http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/articles/2006/03/point-of-law.aspx
Samaha, J (2014) Criminal Procedure (9th ed.) Boston, MA: Cengage Learning