Inevitable Discovery Exception Law and Legal Definition

The inevitable discovery exception to the exclusionary rule allows into evidence illegally seized items that would have been discovered lawfully anyway. This exception allows evidence to be admitted, even though it was seized in violation of the Constitution.

In order to successfully assert the inevitable discovery exception, some courts require that the prosecution demonstrate that the police were in the process of actively pursuing a lawful investigation that would have led inevitably to the discovery of the evidence at the time that the evidence was illegally obtained. Some courts not only do not require active pursuit of an alternative legal means of discovery at the moment of the illegal search, but they do not even require that it be law enforcement officials who are hypothesized to be the ones who inevitably would have discovered the evidence.