plain-view doctrine. Criminal procedure. The rule permitting a police officer’s warrantless seizure and use as evidence of an item seen in plain view from a lawful position or during a legal search when the officer has probable cause to believe that the item is evidence of a crime. — Also termed clear-view doctrine; plain-sight rule. Cf. OPEN-FIELDS DOCTRINE. [Cases: Controlled Substances  106, 115, 131; Searches and Seizures  47.C.J.S. Searches and Seizures §§ 66–67, 71–72.]

[Blacks Law 8th]