Do you have to open the door for the police?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Most of us have grown up with the notion that you must always answer the requests of a police officer, no matter what it is. But as you grow older and come to realize more things about the world, you should also come to understand the importance of your rights in the system of law.

Many people thus do not know that it is not necessary to open the door to police officers in all cases. But which situations can you keep the door shut for?

When can police enter your home?

Flex Your Rights discusses what you can do if the police come to your door. First and foremost, police can only enter and search your home under one of three circumstances. First, they already have a search warrant. Second, they have reason to believe you have an emergency occurring on your property. Third, if you invite them in.

How do you deal with them?

Officers who do not have a search warrant or reason to suspect emergencies will often rely on the notion that most people do not know they do not have to invite them in. Many people grow up with the idea that if you have “nothing to hide”, you should “not fear law enforcement”. This can result in you compromising your rights for little to no reason.

If officers have no reason to enter your home, you do not have to let them in, full stop. You can meet them outside or speak to them through the chain lock if you have one. You do not even need to open the door at all if you have no reason to, and they will go away on their own. This can give you time to contact legal help if you think you need it moving forward.