What to Do If The Police Are At the Door of Your Los Angeles Home

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Whether you’re guilty of a crime or not, it’s always a concern when police show up at your door. For one thing, police work is often a lot sloppier than the police work you see on television. Often, they’ll take in anyone they think they can make a case against.

Some unscrupulous police officers even plant evidence. They’ve been caught doing it, on camera. It’s a lot easier to do that in someone’s home than it is to do at a traffic stop. If you let them in, they may also start claiming they saw evidence in plain sight, which is a legal exception to search warrants.

So while you might think you want to be a good citizen and just help them out by answering their questions, the truth cooperating with law enforcement is rarely a good idea. If they’re at your door they at least believe you were close enough to a crime to be relevant to it. That’s never good news. 

Do you have to open the door for police in California?

No. You never have to open the door and you never have to let police officers in unless they have a warrant signed by a judge. No law enforcement agency may enter your home without your permission, not even Homeland Security. 

There is also almost never any good reason to let law enforcement inside your home. 

If they ask to come in, you should state clearly that you do not consent to their presence in your house. You should deny them entry even if they’re asking to talk to someone in the house. You don’t have to let them talk to anyone in your house, and that includes your minor children.

You might have to start sounding a bit like a broken record here. “I do not consent to your entry. I do not consent to a search unless you have a search warrant. I will not answer questions until I have consulted with an attorney.” 

They might try to hint that you’ll be arrested for obstructing justice if you don’t cooperate. Just keep repeating yourself. 

Do I have to answer police questions?

No, but be careful. You need to assert your 5th amendment rights. “I respectfully decline to answer. I maintain my 5th amendment rights.” If you don’t proactively assert your rights when you’re not under arrest then the police can use silence or even nonverbal communication against you in court later. 

Do not respond to attempts to intimidate you into answering questions. Just keep telling them you will not answer questions without a lawyer. 

What should I do if police have a search warrant?

If the search warrant is properly executed and signed by a judge you do need to let them in. There’s no getting around it. Make sure they have a paper copy and read it thoroughly. If they start searching outside the area outlined in the warrant, make note of that.

While they are searching, you should take the opportunity to immediately get on the phone with a private criminal defense lawyer. You may not have a better opportunity to make your phone call later! By the time police are searching your home you are already in big trouble, even if you haven’t been charged yet.

Don’t put your fate into the hands of public defenders who do not have time for you. Call our office to secure a meeting with a criminal defense attorney who will devote both time and resources to your case.

See also:

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

Do You Have to Provide DNA When Under Arrest in Los Angeles

How Does Bail Work in Los Angeles

What to Do If The Police Are At the Door of Your Los Angeles Home

inne-rpage-seperator

Whether you’re guilty of a crime or not, it’s always a concern when police show up at your door. For one thing, police work is often a lot sloppier than the police work you see on television. Often, they’ll take in anyone they think they can make a case against.

Some unscrupulous police officers even plant evidence. They’ve been caught doing it, on camera. It’s a lot easier to do that in someone’s home than it is to do at a traffic stop. If you let them in, they may also start claiming they saw evidence in plain sight, which is a legal exception to search warrants.

So while you might think you want to be a good citizen and just help them out by answering their questions, the truth cooperating with law enforcement is rarely a good idea. If they’re at your door they at least believe you were close enough to a crime to be relevant to it. That’s never good news. 

Do you have to open the door for police in California?

No. You never have to open the door and you never have to let police officers in unless they have a warrant signed by a judge. No law enforcement agency may enter your home without your permission, not even Homeland Security. 

There is also almost never any good reason to let law enforcement inside your home. 

If they ask to come in, you should state clearly that you do not consent to their presence in your house. You should deny them entry even if they’re asking to talk to someone in the house. You don’t have to let them talk to anyone in your house, and that includes your minor children.

You might have to start sounding a bit like a broken record here. “I do not consent to your entry. I do not consent to a search unless you have a search warrant. I will not answer questions until I have consulted with an attorney.” 

They might try to hint that you’ll be arrested for obstructing justice if you don’t cooperate. Just keep repeating yourself. 

Do I have to answer police questions?

No, but be careful. You need to assert your 5th amendment rights. “I respectfully decline to answer. I maintain my 5th amendment rights.” If you don’t proactively assert your rights when you’re not under arrest then the police can use silence or even nonverbal communication against you in court later. 

Do not respond to attempts to intimidate you into answering questions. Just keep telling them you will not answer questions without a lawyer. 

What should I do if police have a search warrant?

If the search warrant is properly executed and signed by a judge you do need to let them in. There’s no getting around it. Make sure they have a paper copy and read it thoroughly. If they start searching outside the area outlined in the warrant, make note of that.

While they are searching, you should take the opportunity to immediately get on the phone with a private criminal defense lawyer. You may not have a better opportunity to make your phone call later! By the time police are searching your home you are already in big trouble, even if you haven’t been charged yet.

Don’t put your fate into the hands of public defenders who do not have time for you. Call our office to secure a meeting with a criminal defense attorney who will devote both time and resources to your case.

See also:

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

Do You Have to Provide DNA When Under Arrest in Los Angeles

How Does Bail Work in Los Angeles

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