Open Field Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

The open field doctrine is a term used in criminal law to stand for the concept that anything plainly visible to the eye, even if it’s on private property, is subject to a search since it’s not hidden. Under this doctrine, consent to inspect the location is not required in order for a law enforcement officer to observe and report on things in plain view and include observations made. An open field is not an area protected under the Fourth Amendment, and there is no expectation of a right of privacy for an open field.