The Law Office of Joshua P. Fink, LLC - Criminal Defense
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How do you handle police knocking on your door?

Police presence at a house often serves as more than enough to cause tension among those living within it.

However, some of the tension and stress can get reduced if the people inside understand their rights and how to handle the situation well.

Know your rights

Flex Your Rights discuss how to handle a visit from police officers. First and foremost, it is important to know that a homeowner does not need to answer the door for the police at all. If they do not have a search warrant, they cannot enter the property and must come back another time.

Keep a barrier up

Next, you may try to speak with police outside of the home or with some sort of barrier in place. For example, it is perfectly reasonable to talk with the door chain still in place or to speak through a window beside the door. Many people will also step outside of the home to speak to officers, closing the door behind them.

Do not extend an invite

You do not have to invite officers in, as this will give them the legal right to take evidence or conduct a search if they can see anything illegal or anything they deem suspicious. Note that officers may use tricky tactics to get an invitation into your home, such as stating that they are running a routine survey.

Always remain respectful and calm when addressing officers, too. Do not escalate or give police a reason to act out. Staying calm and continuing to state your rights will often serve as enough to keep officers from overstepping their boundaries and trying to enter your home.