If the police come knocking on your door, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and confused.
Oftentimes, people feel unsure of what to do. Always remember that you and your loved ones have rights when it comes to entering private property.
1. Do I have to answer the door?
As an American, you have rights that protect you from unreasonable seizures and searches. If the police knock, you have no legal obligation to answer the door unless they have a legal search warrant. The state has specific rules associated with obtaining and delivering a search warrant, including a provision for illegal searches. Once an officer has one, you must allow the police to enter the property.
2. Can the police enter without a warrant?
Typically, police may not enter a home without a warrant. Some situations have extenuating circumstances that do allow for lawful entry. These include assisting a person in danger, seeing illegal activity happening in the residence, and deterring the destruction of evidence. Additionally, if you allow them to enter and agree to a search, you waive your rights.
3. Am I required to talk to the police?
With or without a warrant, you do not have to talk to the police. If they do not have a warrant, you may ask why they are there through the door without having any obligation to continue the discussion. Once presented with a warrant, you still have the right to remain silent.
If you believe law enforcement illegally entered and search your property, you have options available.