Utah Search Warrant Law – Plain View Exception

Defense Attorneys Protect Your Fourth Amendment Rights

One of our basic constitutional and human rights is to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant issued under oath by a magistrate.  Over the many years of our Republic the law of search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment has changed significantly and there are a myriad of exceptions to the warrant requirement.

The Plain View Exception

One exception that has developed through the courts over the years is the plain view exception.  This exception permits law enforcement officers to seize contraband or other “criminal” items that are in plain view.  Thus, for example, if a police officer pulls you over and you have baggie full of heroin or marijuana lying on your passenger seat in open view the police officer can immediately search your car and arrest your for illegal drug possession.

Similarly, if a police officer is legally on your premises because you invited him in to your home or business and he sees illegal firearms on a table, he can seize them and arrest your for a gun crime without a warrant.

Although most people who have illegal contraband in their possession are pretty good at keeping those things hidden there are those who don’t think about hiding items which could potentially incriminate them.  In one case, a truck driver was pulled over by a law enforcement officer because his license plate was expired.  Upon running his license and registration the police officer also found that his driver’s license was suspended.  He arrested the truck driver and as the truck driver was exiting the semi the police officer saw a pistol on the floor of the car.  The police officer confiscated the gun and the confiscation was upheld by a court under the plain view doctrine.

Salcido Law Firm Protects Your Fourth Amendment Rights

If you have criminal charges pending against you which derived from a search and seizure contact us for defense services.  801.618.1334

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