When authorities come to the door, it is a frightening prospect for anyone. However, understanding individual rights can go a long way when it comes to ensuring that police do not overstep their bounds.
So exactly how do you handle police when they show up at your door without warning? What can you do to protect your rights?
How to interact with police
Flex Your Rights discusses what you can do when authorities come to your door. First, always maintain a polite but firm attitude. Do not give law enforcement any reason to act out against you, and do not give them a reason to think they can take advantage of you. In many cases, police will back down once they know that a person understands his or her rights.
Additionally, know that you do not actually need to answer the door for authorities at all. Unless they have a search warrant or got sent to your home on a wellness check, they cannot open your door without you opening it for them.
Keeping your home out of view
If you still choose to speak with them anyway, consider talking to them through a window or a crack in the door if you have a chain lock. You can also leave through another door to meet them outside. You want to keep them from seeing the interior of your home because they might see a reason to enter such as drug paraphernalia lying out in the open.
Otherwise, police can only enter with a warrant, if they believe they are stopping an in-progress crime, or if you invite them in.