When growing up, most of us hear from parents and other authority figures that it is important to give our trust to law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, they do not always have your best interest in mind, nor do they always act in a straightforward way.
This can even apply to the simple act of an officer knocking on your door. They could just want to run a simple check, or they could be searching for permission to enter your premises. What can you do when faced with such a situation?
When can police enter your home?
Flex Your Rights discusses what you can do when the police come to your door. First, understand that law enforcement agents can only enter your home in one of three scenarios. First, they have reason to believe that entering your home would allow them to intervene in an emergency situation. Two, they have a search warrant. Three, you invite them in.
How do you answer them?
Since officers often struggle with the first two, they often rely on the assumption that you will let them in to search the house with no fuss or further issue, but you do not need to. Instead, you can speak to them through the door, through the chain lock, or by leaving through another exit and speaking to them outside.
In fact, you do not actually need to acknowledge them at all. If they have no warrant to enter the premises or reason to believe an emergency is ongoing, they will eventually leave if you do not answer the door. This can give you the time you need to contact legal aid if you believe you need it.