When authorities show up at the door, it can feel like a nerve-wracking experience for just about anyone. Many people may slip up in their panic and accidentally give police more access to their homes than necessary.
Thus, it is important for everyone to know their rights when it comes to protecting their home from unnecessary police interference.
When can police enter the home?
Flex Your Rights discusses what to do if police ever come knocking. The first thing to note: if officers do not have a warrant, then you do not have to answer the door. They cannot force their way into your home without a warrant unless they see evidence of a crime in progress, such as drug paraphernalia or a victim attempting to escape domestic abuse.
Thus, you can end the interaction before it even starts by simply not answering the door. But if you choose to answer anyway, consider speaking through the window or through a crack in the door if you have a chain lock. You may also want to exit the home and close the door behind you so you can talk to them outside.
Inviting officers in
The other way officers may enter your home without a warrant is if you or someone in the home invites them in. They may try tactics to get this to happen, such as asking to come inside to discuss new safety measures or neighborhood crime issues.
You can politely stand your ground and refuse to let an officer into the house unless they have a warrant. By stating clearly that you know your rights, they are less likely to attempt to infringe upon them.