When authorities come to your door, it can be a scary experience. You may not know how to react at first, or you could end up jeopardizing yourself by acting too hastily.
It is important to understand your rights first and foremost. This can allow you to take action and make decisions in a way that will protect you.
Should you answer the door?
Flex Your Rights discusses what to do when an officer comes to the door. First of all, know that you do not have to open the door for law enforcement. If they do not have a search warrant and are not at your home due to a wellness check, they cannot open your door or break into your home.
Second, if you decide to speak to them, you do not have to open the door. You can talk through a window nearby, or speak through the door with it closed. You can also open the door partially, keeping the chain lock in place if you have one.
You can even step out through a different entrance or exit in your home and meet police outside, without ever allowing them a line of vision into your house.
Reasons police can enter
Police can only enter your home for three reasons. First, if they have a search warrant or were sent for a wellness check. Second, if you invite them in. Finally, they can also enter your home if they have reason to believe that doing so will allow them to intercept a crime in progress.
Unfortunately, this means that if they spot drug paraphernalia in your home, they may enter. You want to avoid this, so it is best to stick with your rights and not let authorities come in.