How do you deal with police at your door?
When law enforcement comes knocking, it is normal to feel unsettled, nervous or scared even if you have done nothing wrong.
However, you cannot allow your emotions to overcome your logic and force you to act in a detrimental way. This is why it is so crucial to know your rights.
How to answer the door
Flex Your Rights discusses what to do when authorities show up at the door. Generally speaking, police cannot actively enter or search your house without a search warrant. They may try to get around this by asking you or another person in the home for permission to enter. If they get this permission, they can enter as they please.
They may also enter if they have evidence that points to an ongoing crime. They may claim this if they hear yelling or see drug paraphernalia out in the open.
Thus, when you open the door for law enforcement, you may want to speak to them through a side window. If you have a chain lock, consider keeping it locked and speaking through the crack in the door.
Protecting your rights
You can also choose to exit through another door and meet them outside. If they insist on entering your home or try to apply pressure, simply explain politely but firmly that they cannot enter the premise without a search warrant.
In most cases, once police know that you know your rights, they will back down. Note that you can also choose to avoid answering the door entirely. Unless authorities are there on a wellness check, they cannot break into your home if you do not answer.
Keeping these in mind can help you protect your rights in the face of officers at your door.