Iowa Court of Appeals upholds drug pat-down

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 10:23 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An appellate court ruling has upheld a drug seizure in a case that raised questions about when police can seize drugs in pat-downs.

The Des Moines Register reports that the Iowa Court of Appeals found that a district court judge had erred in ruling that the evidence uncovered during a search of Earnest Hunt Jr. was inadmissible.

At issue was the “plain-feel exception,” which allows officers to seize anything found during a weapon pat-down that is “immediately apparent” to the touch to be contraband without a warrant.

The district court ruled it didn’t apply. But the appellate court found that the officer didn’t need to pinpoint the specific type of drug to rely on the exception.

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