The Police Are Knocking On My Door: Do I Have To Let Them In?

[playht_listen_button]Your home is a sacred place. As a result, few situations can cause more shock and alarm than the loud knock of the police at your front door. With many thoughts racing through your head, it can be difficult to relax and determine what you should do. As the police continue to knock, fear sets in and you begin to second guess yourself. Even as a law abiding citizen, the presence of the police at your home can cause feelings of uneasiness. You may be wondering what you should do in this situation, and whether you are required to let them in your home. Here’s more on what your rights are when the police are at your door.

The Police Can’t Just Enter Your Home Whenever They Want

You have the right to feel safe and secure in your own home. As a result, the U.S. Supreme Court has established that your home is a special place where your right to privacy may extend further than on the street or even in your car. What this means is that the police generally cannot enter your home simply because they please. The law requires that the police must have very specific reasons to enter your home uninvited.

Can The Police Enter With A Warrant?

A warrant is a court order signed by a judge that directs the police to take some form of action. What this means is that in order for the police to enter your home, they generally are required to first get a warrant. The warrant must state specifically what the police are entering your home for. Without a warrant, the police generally are not allowed to enter your home. If they do enter your home without a warrant, then they may be violating your civil rights and can be subject to certain penalties as a result.

When Do The Police Not Need A Warrant?

Only in extremely limited scenarios are the police not required to have a warrant to legally enter your home. These situations are known as exigent circumstances and include:

  • An imminent danger to life
  • Imminent serious damage to property
  • The escape of a suspect
  • The destruction of evidence

At least one of these circumstances must be present in order for the police to enter your home without a warrant in California. Still, in order for the entry into your home to meet one of the exceptions, the police cannot just simply claim an emergency exists. They must be able to show through facts and evidence that there is a clear need to enter your home without a warrant.

Can I Assert My Rights, Refusing To Let The Police In?

If the police are at your door and they do not have a warrant, chances are they will need your permission to enter. If they need to speak with you for any reason, you should exit your home and talk to them outside – if you choose to talk to them at all. In all likelihood, they do not need to be in your home in order to speak with you. It is also recommended that if the police suspect you of committing a crime, that you refer them to your lawyer and do not speak with them unrepresented.

My Rights Law is all about helping good people fight criminal charges that have been brought against them in The Golden State. We will carefully evaluate your situation and help chart the most sensible path forward. Don’t gamble with your future when it comes to your criminal case. Get an experienced criminal defense team in your corner without delay. To learn more, call My Rights Law at (888) 702-8882 or contact us online today.