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Do you have to answer the door for the police?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2021 | Criminal Law

As an adult, it is important to understand how to handle all potential interactions with law enforcement. After all, you cannot always guarantee that they will have your best interest in mind, nor will they always act to your benefit.

Thus, it is important to start with the basics. For example, do you know what to do if the police come to your door? Do you even have to let them in?

Refusing to answer

According to Flex Your Rights, you do not even need to answer the door for the police if they do not have a search warrant. If you refuse to answer the door, acknowledge their presence or alert them to the fact that you are home, they will have to leave eventually unless they have that warrant.

Aside from the warrant, which they must receive directly from the court, the police can only enter your house under one of two circumstances. In the first scenario, they must have reason to believe that entering your home will allow them to stop a currently ongoing incident or crisis situation. For the second, they must receive permission from the homeowner or someone on the property to enter the premises.

Other options for speaking safely

If they do not have reason to enter your home, then you do not need to grant them this permission, even if they may try to word things to make you feel like you must make this decision. Instead, you can speak to them through your chain lock if you have one, or through a side window. You can also exit through a separate door and meet them outside to speak with them there.