Plain View Doctrine

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The plain view doctrine allows a police officer to seize objects not described in a warrant when executing a lawful search or seizure if he observes the object in plain view and has probable cause to believe that it is connected with criminal activities.  The incriminating character of the object should be immediately identifiable.  Evidence in a container can not possibly be identified by plain observation or touch and therefore should not be seized unless it is listed in the warrant.

Analogously, plain feel doctrine applies in pat-down searches when an officer by plain feel of the outside of clothes reasonably believes an item in the person’s pocket is a contraband or evidence.