Body Cam Reveals Drugs Not In Plain View

Gary S Bernstein

A drug charge was dismissed today because the search of the car that found the drugs was not conducted properly.  There was one Body Cams.  The first officer picked up the box with the drugs and placed it back in the car.  The second officer did not have a Body Cam and claimed he found the drugs in “plain view.”  He was unaware of the Body Cam.

The search of the box was not supported by any legal theory and could only be justified if the drugs were in plain view.  They were not and the charge was dismissed.  The Body Cams generally provide a good picture of what is going on.  The officers do not always level it correctly but that takes time.  In this case since the Body Cam was on an officer who looked through the car, it was directed at the objects in the car.  The prosecutor had not reviewed it and when I pointed it out, she understood the drugs were not properly seized and did the right thing.