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Do you have to open the door for the police?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2021 | Criminal Defense

When growing up, you likely often hear the idea that if you are innocent, you should have nothing to hide. Unfortunately, when it comes to police, you should always remain on your guard for your own safety.

This means knowing your rights when an officer comes to your door. How exactly do you handle such a scenario in a way that will keep you protected?

They do not need to enter

Flex Your Rights discusses what to do when the police come knocking. First, understand that you do not need to answer the door at all. In order to enter your home without your consent, an officer needs a search warrant. Barring that, they must hold the belief that entering your property will allow them to stop a crime or emergency in progress. If they have neither of these things, they cannot enter unless you allow them. If you simply wait them out, they will leave in due time.

Speaking with police safely

If you decide you wish to speak with them, consider speaking through the window or with the chain lock still in place. This gives you a physical barrier for protection. You can also exit through the front door – or another door – and close it behind you, opting to speak with them outside of your home instead.

When addressing police officers, remain respectful and calm. If they wish to enter your home, simply insist that they cannot do so without a warrant. Stand your ground politely but firmly if they give excuses or reasons as to why they wish to take a look inside. Once they take their leave, consider contacting an attorney for further guidance.