What Should I Do If Police Come To My House?

If the police come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have a search warrant or felony arrest warrant. If they do not have a warrant, you can verbally refuse to let them enter. If they enter without your consent, stay calm and do not run or attempt to physically block their entrance. If the police search your house illegally, any items found can be suppressed at a later time in court. If you allow them to enter and search, the search becomes legal even if the police did not otherwise have a lawful basis to do the search.

If the police have a warrant to search or make an arrest, ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas of the home listed in the warrant and in locations where the items listed in the warrant could be found. For example, if the search warrant permits the police to search for a handgun, the police are not permitted to search your computer files or to open a pill bottle that is too small to store a gun. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home if they believe the person is inside.

Regardless of whether the officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent and should do so. If for any reason you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door behind you. I encourage you not to speak to police without consulting with a lawyer first.

If you believe that you or a loved one are under investigation for a crime or may come under investigation, please call me for a free consultation.