Cheronis & Parente LLC

Criminal Defense Blog


What happens when police knock?

Society teaches us from a young age that we should show respect to law enforcement. In some ways, the system even teaches you to fear the power and abilities that law enforcement has over the average citizen.

So what happens when the police knock on your door? While it is often tempting to let them do whatever they would like without putting up a fuss, that might not serve your best interest in the long term. What should you do instead, then?

Do you have to open the door? examines what to do when officers come knocking at your door. First, recognize that you do not even need to open the door. Unless an officer believes an emergency is in the process of occurring, they cannot force their way into your home. If you do not feel safe opening the door, or simply do not wish to, then you do not have to. The officer will leave eventually, and you can seek legal help in case they return.

Keeping your house safe

But if you decide to open the door, know that you can still take steps to defend yourself. First, you do not need to let them into your home. In fact, this is highly discouraged. Officers cannot enter your home without a warrant unless it is an emergency situation, or if you invite them in. Once inside, they can search and seize property as they see fit.

Instead, meet them outside and close the door behind you, or speak to them through a window or chain lock. If they ask to come inside, firmly but politely state that you cannot let them in without a permit. Once they leave, consider contacting legal help in case they return.

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