Exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule

Plain Sight is one of the types of evidence seizure that is deemed to be an exception to the Exclusionary Rule. The Plain View Doctrine allows for the seizure of evidence by law enforcement if they do not have to search for it because it can be seen without any constructive movement on the part of the officers. The item observed must create probable cause that a crime was committed. The test is simple, if an officer is where he or she is legally and observed an item that provided probable cause, then that item may be seized as evidence and person(s) associated with the item may be arrested.

According to Staff Attorneys (2021) at the Legal Information Institute:

“Plain view doctrine is a rule of criminal procedure which allows an officer to seize evidence of a crime without a warrant when the evidence is clearly visible. This doctrine acts as an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s right to be free from searches without a warrant. Also referred to as clear-view doctrine or plain sight rule.”

This video provides a simple explanation of exceptions to the need for a warrant (TCTCMedia, 2012):

Exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule

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