Police who see you toss something away have a right to seize it.
Seeing a police officer walking in my direction, I tossed away a packet of illegal drugs. Can the officer pick it up and use it as evidence against me?
The officer neither detained you nor conducted a search. The officer had the right to pick up whatever you tossed away and to make an arrest when the object turned out to be illegal drugs.
To learn more, check out Police Searches on the Street
by: Paul Bergman
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