Plain Touch Doctrine

The plain touch doctrine is a legal principle that allows a police officer to seize any contraband that the officer can immediately and clearly identify by touch while conducting a legal pat-down search. In Minnesota v. Dickerson (1993), the Supreme Court held: “If a police officer lawfully pats down a suspect’s outer clothing and feels an object whose contour or mass makes its identity immediately apparent, there has been no invasion of the suspect’s privacy beyond that already authorized by the officer’s search for weapons; if the object is contraband, its warrantless seizure would be justified by the same practical considerations that inhere in the plain-view context.”

Instructions

For the assignment, prepare a 3 page training memo to be distributed to rookie officers in your department during their training regarding proper criminal procedure with respect to the plain touch doctrine.

In your memo:

  • Articulate legally compliant procedural steps for a criminal justice practitioner in a situation involving the plain touch doctrine.
  • Explain classification of the plain touch doctrine as reasonable or unreasonable for a criminal justice professional.
  • Examine whether the plain touch doctrine is a threat to 4th Amendment protections.
  • Describe the implications of officers being able to manipulate objects that can be readily felt.

PLEASE USE THE BULLET ABOVE TO TITLE EACH PARAGRAPH!! THERE ARE 4 BULLETS, SO THERE SHOULD BE 4 PARAGRAPHS WITH THE APPROPRIATE BULLET TITLING THE PARAGRAPH/PARAGRAPHS. Please cite a minimum of two academically verified sources.

 
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