Having a law enforcement officer knocking at your door is an unnerving experience. It leads to anxiety-inducing questions about whether your family, property, or neighbors are okay. Even when you know you have personally done nothing wrong, it’s completely normal to experience fear, confusion, and all sorts of emotions when all that separates you from an officer is a slab of wood or metal.
The actions you take when an officer is at your door can lay the groundwork for your defense if you are accused of or charged with a crime. So if the cops come knocking, remember the following to protect your rights:
- Do not let them in: You are not obligated to let the police into your home. Allowing them into your home waives your right to challenge their search as part of your defense. Do not let them into your home without first showing you a warrant.
- Speak through the door: You should say as little as possible, but any speaking should occur through the door. Please do not open the door and risk allowing entry. Now is not the time to worry about being polite to a visitor.
- Make them get a search warrant: Search warrants exist to protect all of our rights. The intelligent thing to do is require an officer to come back with a search warrant if they want to take a look around your home.
- Call an attorney: An attorney can get in touch with authorities and figure out what is happening. Early intervention may even result in charges never being filed. The only way to find out is to make sure you have an experienced attorney on your side. Save your talking for your attorney and let them guide you the rest of the way.