When the police come to your door, you may feel nervous or on edge, even if you don’t believe you’ve done anything wrong. It’s just not something that you expected. You don’t want to make any mistakes that would make the situation worse.
The good news is that you do have a lot of rights as an American citizen, and so it’s important to know how to act in this situation. Below are a few tips that can help.
Ask if they have a warrant
First and foremost, if the police have a warrant to come inside, they do not need your consent. If they claim to have one, then ask them if you can see it. It tells them what parts of the home they can enter and what they are looking for.
Remember items in plain view
One way that police officers can gather evidence is by collecting things that they see in plain view. An officer may not automatically have permission to go through your cupboards just because you told them to come inside and talk, for example. But if they see something illegal sitting out on a table, that could start an investigation. Just be sure that everything in plain view is something you would want the police to see.
Avoid escalating the situation
Even if you believe that the police are wrong and they shouldn’t be in your house or threatening to arrest you, try not to escalate the situation in any way. If it’s a false arrest, there are steps that you can take in court to rectify the situation after the fact. It’s far better to try to remain polite and courteous in the moment, and this also helps you avoid further charges – such as resisting arrest.
If you do end up getting arrested, then it’s very important that you understand what legal steps to take to further your defense and protect your rights.