If officers come to the door, you may struggle with what to do initially. This is often a surprising event that does not give the people involved much time to prepare.
Thus, it is important for you to know your rights before you ever get into such a situation. Do you know what you can do if an officer asks to be let into your home?
What are the reasons for police to enter a home?
Flex Your Rights discusses how to handle a situation where police approach the door. The first thing to note: if they do not have a search warrant, they cannot enter your home except for under two conditions.
The first is if they witness something that indicates that a crime is currently happening in your home. This can include seeing drug paraphernalia or hearing the sounds of a struggle. The second is if you invite them into your home.
Should you allow police into your house?
Police will often bank on the fact that most people will simply invite them in if they ask. They may approach the situation in a way that makes it sound like you need to let them in, hoping that you simply will.
To avoid being pressured, you can state firmly but politely that you will not let them in without a search warrant. You can also speak to them through a window or a crack in the door if you have a chain lock, to avoid them catching glimpses inside your home. You may even speak to them outside and shut the door behind you.
If you show them in a polite but firm way that you know your rights, they will more often than not back down.