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Is there an officer at your door?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense

It can always feel unnerving when a police officer comes knocking. Many people may even panic and give up some of their precious rights because they do not know how to handle the situation.

This is why it is important to understand in advance how to handle any officers that might turn up.

When can police enter?

Flex Your Rights discusses the situation where police come to your door. The most important thing to know is that if an officer does not have a search warrant, they cannot enter your home except for two cases. The first is if they notice signs that might indicate a crime is in the process of occurring, such as seeing drug paraphernalia. The second is if you invite them in, or if someone else in the home invites them.

Another little-known fact: you do not actually have to answer the door for the police at all. They cannot break into your home unless they have a search warrant, or if they happen to be performing a wellness check, in which case they cannot leave until they check in with you directly.

How to speak with police

If you choose to answer the door, though, you may want to consider speaking through a window or opening the door but keeping the chain lock in place. You can also choose to exit through a different door and approach them from there, so you can speak to them outside on the porch or the sidewalk.

Keep in mind that officers may use different excuses in an attempt to get inside of your home. However, as long as they do not see evidence of a crime, get invited in, or have a search warrant, you can turn them away firmly and politely.