Inadvertent Discovery Law and Legal Definition

Inadvertent discovery refers to a police officer's unexpected finding of incriminating evidence in plain view. Inadvertent discovery is also a type of evidence that is obtained without a warrant. It can be used against the accused under the plain-view exception to the warrant requirement. However, if the discovery is anticipated, the seizure cannot be justified under the plain view doctrine. In People v. Dugan, 102 Mich. App. 497 (Mich. Ct. App. 1980), a law enforcement officer must be an officer who is lawfully located in a place to plainly view the object and must have a lawful right of access to the object. However, inadvertent discovery is not a requirement of a warrantless seizure of evidence and it is an essential element in plain view doctrine.