You can tell police officers you don’t want to open the door

When the police arrive at your house, they may act rather aggressively, as if they are in control of the situation and you have to do what they say. This can make it hard to remember your rights and not simply go along with all of their instructions. 

For instance, what if they ask you if they can come into the house? They knock and they want you to open the door. Can you tell them that you’d rather not do so?

You absolutely can. If they have a warrant, they can come in regardless. If they claim to have one, though, they should be able to show it to you. Without a warrant, all they’re doing is asking, and then you fully have the right to deny that request. This is your home, your personal property. They can’t force entry without a warrant or in a few rare and extreme situations — like if they think the evidence is being destroyed or if they were already in “hot pursuit” of you for another crime. 

You do not have to let the police push you around. They may keep trying to convince you to open the door, making you think that you’re just making things worse for yourself by declining their request. If they come in without probable cause and without a warrant, though, then they are the ones breaking the law. 

Unfortunately, things like this do happen in America, even with the emphasis on the rule of law and personal freedom. If it happens to you, be sure you know what steps you can take to defend your rights and protect your interests.


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