Harris v. United States,
390 U.S. 234 (1968)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Harris v. United States, 390 U.S. 234 (1968)

Harris v. United States

No. 92

Argued January 18, 1968

Decided March 5, 1968

390 U.S. 234


Pursuant to a departmental regulation, a police officer searched a impounded car held as evidence of a robbery. The search completed, the officer opened the car door for the purpose of rolling up a window and thus protecting the car and its contents. On opening the door, the officer saw, exposed to plain view, the automobile registration card belonging to the victim of the robbery. This card was used as evidence in petitioner's trial. Petitioner's conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals over his contention that the card had been illegally seized following a warrantless search.

Held: The card was subject to seizure and introducible in evidence, since it was not discovered by means of a search in the technical sense, but was plainly visible to the officer who had a right to be in a position of viewing it.

125 U.S.App.D.C. 231, 370 F.2d 477, affirmed.

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