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Our Albuquerque Criminal Attorney Can Help with the Plain View Search Defense
14 Dec 2015

Our Albuquerque Criminal Attorney Can Help with the Plain View Search Defense

Albuquerque Criminal Attorney scalesAn Albuquerque criminal attorney may be able to help you prove that a search was illegal under the plain view doctrine. The plain view doctrine allows for the seizure of an object without warrant if the sight of the object gives probable cause to believe that it is instrumental to a crime. The plain view doctrine requires that three conditions are met, including that police are lawfully in a position to view the object, have lawful access to the object, and that the object is immediately incriminating in appearance.


An object is immediately apparent if viewing it creates probable cause to believe that it is contraband without further search or inspection. One U.S. Supreme Court case ruled that police could not move a stereo turntable to search for the serial number. The item in question must not only be in plain view, but police must also have reached that vantage point in a way that does not violate your Fourth Amendment rights. If the Fourth Amendment is violated, the plain view exception does not make the search warranted. In some states, police must also have inadvertently come upon the item without expecting to find it.

Plain View Search Defense Strategies

A criminal defense attorney may challenge a plain view search by questioning whether the police officers put themselves in a position to view the item in question. If they entered an area they did not have the right to be, such as by looking around your home without a search warrant, the search may not be valid. An attorney may also argue that the incriminating nature of the item could not have been apparent. If police inspected the item intrusively or conducted a more intensive investigation of it after seizing it illegally, these actions are not protected under the plain view exception. One Supreme Court case decided that it is not acceptable to seize a computer when probable cause of its incriminating nature is only apparent upon examining the serial number.

Contact an Albuquerque Criminal Attorney

For more information on protecting your rights under the plain view search exception, contact the Twohig Law Firm today at (505) 898-0400. It is important to understand your rights to determine whether charges filed against you were based on evidence that was illegally obtained. An Albuquerque criminal attorney may be able to provide the representation and information you need.


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