Quality Legal Representation Serving
The Chatham, New York, Area

What do you do if police knock on your door?

Having police at your door is a stressful experience no matter what. Despite what anyone may say about having no reason to feel nervous if you are not guilty, there is plenty of reason to be wary when interacting with law enforcement.

It is important to know your rights accordingly. This includes knowing what you have the right to do if police come knocking at your door.

Can police enter? goes into detail about what to do if police knock on your door. They may do this for any number of reasons. But the first thing you need to know is: police cannot enter your home without a warrant. There are two exceptions to this. If there is an active emergency situation, they may force entry. Likewise, they may enter without a warrant if you invite them in.

As there are not many emergency situations to warrant sudden entry, most officers rely on the fact that citizens do not know they can deny police entry. They may try many tactics to get into your home, such as reassuring you that they are only visiting due to routine safety procedure.

How should you react?

If an officer approaches your door, you can speak to them through the chain lock if you have one. If you fear forced entry, you can also meet them outside through another entrance or close the door behind you. In fact, you can even choose not to answer the door in the first place. The officers will eventually leave.

Next, if they insist on entry, explain that you cannot let them in without a warrant. Repeat this in a polite but firm way until they leave. Then, consider contacting an attorney in the event that they return.