Having a police officer ring your doorbell can be the cause of much consternation. Usually, police need a warrant to enter your home if they want to arrest someone; and they must identify themselves and their purpose of being at your home.
What Are My Rights When the Police Knock on My Door?
Whatever the circumstances or reasons, it is in your best interest to know and understand your rights if you ever face a police officer at your doorstep. Here are a few things you need to do in such a situation:
1. Do Not Answer the Door
You are within your rights if you choose to not answer the door, especially if you did not ask for police assistance. If the officers are at your home for a valid reason or with a search warrant, they will continue to knock and inform you of their reason to be at your home.
2. If Possible Use a Screen Door to Speak
If you are not comfortable with leaving the police unanswered, you can speak either through a screen door or with a chain lock fastened on the door. You can demand to see a warrant if they ask you to open the door or allow them inside.
3. Do Not Answer Questions
You need to remember that you can politely refuse to answer any questions if you are uncomfortable doing so, or simply do not want to. If the police seem intimidating in the way they are asking questions, let them know you will talk to them only in the presence of your lawyer.
When Can the Police Search My Home?
Whatever the reason may be for the request, the police cannot carry out a search of your home without either your consent, a valid search warrant, in some cases to conduct a welfare check, or if they have probable cause to believe that there is evidence of a crime inside the home that will be destroyed if they do not immediately search the home. You need to ensure that everyone living in your home is clear about these rights because consent from any adult in your home is permission for the police to search.
Insist on seeing the warrant if the police claim to have one. Although any police officer could get in serious trouble for a false claim about having a warrant, such misconduct is not unheard of. In case the police have a search warrant and you fail to answer the door, they must announce their purpose and intent. If you still do not respond, they have the right to enter by force.
When Can the Police Enter My Home Without a Warrant?
However, related to the above, the police can enter a home without a warrant or permission under various other circumstances; a few of which are:
- When they have a reason to believe that someone inside is in danger and they must prevent injuries
- When they need to secure evidence related to a crime before someone destroys it
- When they are following someone and have the authority and reason to arrest them
- When they are investigating a 911 call
Call Kann California Law Group Today
If you are confronted with a situation where police officer(s) searched or asked to search your home, you need skilled representation to protect your rights. The experienced attorneys at Kann California Law Group are ready to fight on your behalf for the best possible outcome. Contact one of our seasoned defense attorneys for a free and confidential consultation. Call at 888-744-7730 or use our online contact form and an attorney will call you.