If the police knock on your front door, it can be a bit unnerving. You may not believe you’ve done anything wrong or know why they’re there. This may never have happened to you before. But simply seeing the police on your property can understandably make you nervous.
Naturally, you’re wondering how you should act in this situation. Below are a few tips that can help you.
Be polite and calm
First and foremost, always try to be polite and calm as you talk to the police officers. Don’t escalate the situation or do anything rash, like instantly telling them to leave. Just ask them if you can help, perhaps by talking to them through a cracked door or by going outside if you feel uncomfortable having them in your home.
Ask if they have a warrant
If the police do ask to come inside, the first thing you want to do is ask them if they have a warrant. If they do not have one, and there is not an emergency, then it means that they cannot come into your house without your consent. If they do have a warrant, then they may simply be asking for your permission to be civil, but they can come inside either way. You certainly need to know where you stand when you make your decision.
Ask to read the warrant
If the police do have a warrant, the next step is to ask if you can read it. Start off just by confirming that it’s actually for the residence that you’re at. But you may also want to check and see if it has any restrictions that have been applied. For instance, a warrant can be issued to look for a certain type of evidence in a certain part of someone’s home, but that does not mean that the police can search the entire home for any evidence. They are still bound by the restrictions, even when they have a warrant that means they can go into your house.
Explore your legal options
These tips can help you get through the encounter with as little trouble as possible, but you could certainly still face arrest or legal charges. If this happens, especially if the police illegally entered your home, be sure you know what steps to take.