Minnesota v. Dickerson, 508 U.S. 366, 6 (1993)

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Cite as: 508 U. S. 366 (1993)

Opinion of the Court

ception, the search in this case would not qualify" because "[t]he pat search of the defendant went far beyond what is permissible under Terry." Id., at 843, 844, n. 1. As the State Supreme Court read the record, the officer conducting the search ascertained that the lump in respondent's jacket was contraband only after probing and investigating what he certainly knew was not a weapon. See id., at 844.

We granted certiorari, 506 U. S. 814 (1992), to resolve a conflict among the state and federal courts over whether contraband detected through the sense of touch during a patdown search may be admitted into evidence.1 We now affirm.2

1 Most state and federal courts have recognized a so-called "plain-feel" or "plain-touch" corollary to the plain-view doctrine. See United States v. Coleman, 969 F. 2d 126, 132 (CA5 1992); United States v. Salazar, 945 F. 2d 47, 51 (CA2 1991), cert. denied, 504 U. S. 923 (1992); United States v. Buchannon, 878 F. 2d 1065, 1067 (CA8 1989); United States v. Williams, 262 U. S. App. D. C. 112, 119-124, 822 F. 2d 1174, 1181-1186 (1987); United States v. Norman, 701 F. 2d 295, 297 (CA4), cert. denied, 464 U. S. 820 (1983); People v. Chavers, 33 Cal. 3d 462, 471-473, 658 P. 2d 96, 102-104 (1983); Dickerson v. State, No. 228, 1993 Del. LEXIS 12, *3-*4 (Jan. 26, 1993); State v. Guy, 172 Wis. 2d 86, 101-102, 492 N. W. 2d 311, 317-318 (1992). Some state courts, however, like the Minnesota court in this case, have rejected such a corollary. See People v. Diaz, 81 N. Y. 2d 106, 612 N. E. 2d 298 (1993); State v. Collins, 139 Ariz. 434, 435-438, 679 P. 2d 80, 81-84 (Ct. App. 1983); People v. McCarty, 11 Ill. App. 3d 421, 422, 296 N. E. 2d 862, 863 (1973); State v. Rhodes, 788 P. 2d 1380, 1381 (Okla. Crim. App. 1990); State v. Broadnax, 98 Wash. 2d 289, 296-301, 654 P. 2d 96, 101-103 (1982); cf. Commonwealth v. Marconi, 408 Pa. Super. 601, 611-615, and n. 17, 597 A. 2d 616, 621-623, and n. 17 (1991), appeal denied, 531 Pa. 638, 611 A. 2d 711 (1992).

2 Before reaching the merits of the Fourth Amendment issue, we must address respondent's contention that the case is moot. After respondent was found guilty of the drug possession charge, the trial court sentenced respondent under a diversionary sentencing statute to a 2-year period of probation. As allowed by the diversionary scheme, no judgment of conviction was entered and, upon respondent's successful completion of probation, the original charges were dismissed. See Minn. Stat. 152.18 (1992). Respondent argues that the case has been rendered moot by the dismissal of the original criminal charges. We often have observed, however, that

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