The arrival of a police officer at your door may make you feel a bit concerned, even if you don’t believe you’ve done anything wrong. When that officer asks to come inside, you may start wondering if you have to agree to this request and let them come in.
But the truth is that you generally do not have to allow them in simply because they’ve asked. You’re fully within your rights to deny them entry. If you’d still like to talk to the officer to find out what’s going on, you may even consider going outside to talk to them so that they can’t see items in plain view and use them as an excuse to search your house.
Note, however, that you have the right to remain silent and do not have to speak with the police. In a situation like this, some people believe that they can freely speak because police are not providing a “Miranda” warning. The right to remain silent exists at all times, and police do not have to inform you of the right, often referred to as providing a Miranda warning, unless you are under arrest or in the functional equivalent of formal custody.
Do they have a warrant?
Another thing to consider is whether or not the police have a warrant. If they do, it can grant them the ability to enter your home even without your consent. You should ask to see the warrant and examine it to determine if they have the right location and what they’re allowed to do. Some warrants do come with restrictions that must be followed.
Is there an emergency?
In some situations, the police can also enter homes in an emergency. For example, they may be pursuing a suspect who runs into a building and they don’t have time to get a warrant. In a case like this, they may still enter without your consent, but they may have to prove that they had probable cause if a case ever goes to court.
If you are facing charges and if you believe the police may have violated your rights by illegally entering your home, be sure you know what options you have.