You go to open your door, look through the keyhole, and see the police standing outside. What are your rights? Do you need to let them inside?
If the police knock at your door and you have something to hide these steps may help:
- Do not open the door: You are not required to open the door just because it’s the police.
- Do not invite them in without a warrant: Ask to see their authorization. The police need a warrant to enter your house in most circumstances. The exceptions are if they have reason to believe someone is committing a crime inside, if someone is in immediate danger or when they are chasing someone.
- Get your phone camera out: It is vital to gather evidence, especially if you think the police have no right to be in your house. Take a photo of their warrant, of their badges or video the whole thing. The more details you have, the better.
- Stay quiet: Talking can get you into trouble. You are under no obligation to answer police questions.
- Call your attorney: If the police are knocking at your door, it’s probably because they suspect you of something. Buy yourself time by contacting your attorney sooner rather than later.
If the police entered your house and found some evidence to use against you, you need to check if they acted outside their authority. An attorney who is prepared to go to court and fight over the details could be your best chance to get acquitted on a technicality.