If you’re like most people, you don’t exactly know all your rights when the police come knocking at your door.
So what should you do?
What to Do if Police Knock on Your Door
It’s always a good habit to find out who’s knocking on your door before you answer it – that’s Safety 101.
But what if it’s the police?
The Supreme Court has ruled that your home is safe from unreasonable searches – that means in many cases, police actually need a search warrant to come into your home and look for anything illegal. There are two catches, though:
- If you give police consent to come into your home and search, they’re allowed to do so.
- If police come into your home and see something illegal – like drugs or a fully automatic weapon, for example – they can confiscate those items, which can lead to your arrest.
If the police come to your door, you don’t have to answer. You can, but you aren’t legally required to. If they don’t have a warrant, they’ll eventually leave – but bear in mind that they may come back with a warrant.
Should you decide to answer the door, step outside (closing the door behind you) and calmly ask, “How can I help you?” Find out what the police want from you before you decide what to do next. Here are a few pointers:
- If the police are responding to a noise complaint, apologize for the inconvenience and stop the noise.
- If the police want to talk to you about a crime that took place in your neighborhood, you can step outside and give a statement – even if you don’t know anything about the crime.
- If the police want to investigate your home, ask them if they have a warrant. If they do not, you are within your rights to say, “Officer, I’m not letting you in without a warrant.” Then, call a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney at 414-383-6700 immediately.
Even if they do have a warrant and show it to you, get on the phone with your attorney immediately.
Have Police Knocked on Your Door?
If the police would like to talk to you, you always have the right to legal counsel. Call us at 414-383-6700 right away for a free consultation – the sooner you call us, the sooner we can help protect your rights.