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Do you have to let the police into your home?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

People often assume that they simply have to go along with a police officer whenever they’re given an instruction. If the officer comes to your house and tells you that they want to come inside, you assume that they’re in charge and you have to let them in.

But do you? This is your personal property, after all, so you certainly are not obligated to always like the police into your home. Don’t assume that you have to do so just because of the way that they act toward you or how authoritative they sound when they tell you to open the door. 

Do they have a warrant?

If you don’t want to let them in, one of the first things you should do is simply to ask the police officer if he or she has a warrant. An officer who does not have a warrant cannot enter without your consent. But if they do have a warrant, they may be able to use it to come in even without your consent.

Is there an emergency?

Even officers without a warrant and without consent can sometimes still enter people’s homes. These instances are generally reserved for serious emergencies, such as a crime in progress or something that puts the public in danger. Police may be able to enter under these circumstances, but remember that they’ll still have to prove that the decision was justified later.

Have your rights been violated?

If the police have entered your home against your wishes and without a warrant, they may have violated your rights. This could get evidence removed from court or make the arrest unlawful. Carefully consider your legal options at this time.