seize the heroin but not the TV set. Ayes was in a legitimate place. He was carrying out a search authorization.
He was in the closet looking for large items. That action was within the scope of the search authorization. He
unintentionally found the heroin. Based on his experience as an MP, Ayes believed the bag to contain heroin or
some other contraband. Given these considerations, seizure of the heroin is valid. In contrast, Ayes cannot seize
the TV set. It is true that Ayes was legally in Dumkauf's quarters. However, he had no reason to believe that the
TV set was stolen. Therefore, there was no criminal connection at the time of the view. MP Ayes cannot seize
the TV set. He can, however, use the facts to support "probable cause." With "probable cause" established, he
can get a search authorization. With the search authorization, MP Ayes can return to the quarters to search for the
Compare the above scenario with the following case.
CID Investigator Bane is at the post guest house. There has been a fire and arson is suspected. While checking
through the ashes, Investigator Bane looks through the open door of Room 13. He sees a clear plastic bag full of
what appears to be marijuana sitting on a desk. Can Investigator Bane seize the bag as evidence from the
occupant of the room, PFC Haid?
Yes. The seizure is legal under the Plain View Doctrine. Investigator Bane--
Was in the situation legally.
Stumbled across the evidence while looking for other evidence.
Believed the evidence to be marijuana. Possession of marijuana can lead to criminal prosecution.
In this analysis, Investigator Bane has satisfied all three elements of the Plain View Doctrine.
Evidence that is seized following the requirements of the Plain View Doctrine is legal. Consequently, this
evidence is admissible in a court.