Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select
FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.


Inadvertent Discovery

inadvertent discovery n

: unexpected finding of incriminating evidence in plain view by the police compare inevitable discovery NOTE: In Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443 (1971), the U.S. Supreme Court held that evidence found by inadvertent discovery may be seized under the plain view exception to the warrant requirement for searches and seizures. In Horton v. California, 496 U.S. 128 (1990), however, the Court, while not overturning Coolidge, decided that inadvertent discovery is not a necessary condition for application of the plain view exception to seizures.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options