You Want The Lawyer Everyone Knows

When the police come knocking with questions about a crime

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2024 | Criminal Defense

A knock at the door might mean that a grocery delivery has arrived or that a neighbor received a piece of mail by accident. It might also mean that police want to talk to someone who lives at the property. The subject of an investigation or someone else who lives with that individual may open the door to find police officers waiting right outside. They don’t want to arrest anybody yet. They simply have some questions that they want answered.

All too often, people defer to social niceties in that situation. They invite the police officers inside in an attempt to be cooperative. What they may fail to understand is that the seemingly small choice they just made could potentially lead to criminal charges. How can people respond safely when officers show up at their front doors?

People can cooperate outside of their homes

Officers asking to come inside are often on a fishing expedition. They hope to see, smell or hear something that gives them a justification to search the property. If police officers don’t have adequate evidence to request a search warrant, they can try to trick people into giving up their rights and legal protections.

The choice to invite police officers inside often comes from a well-developed sense of manners. Police officers count on people opening the door to them. They then look at everything they can to search for the probable cause they need to turn the living space upside down.

Once officers have probable cause to suspect that criminal activity occurred, they can search without a warrant and without someone’s permission. In other words, keeping them outside the residence is usually in everybody’s best interests.

The easiest way to cooperate with officers without letting them inside is to step outside and close the door. People can answer a few questions or can even ask to meet the officers at the police station with a defense attorney. That way, they don’t fall victim to manipulative questioning tactics intended to force someone to implicate themselves.

Police officers often count on people not knowing and asserting their rights. Recognizing that officers can’t (usually) just enter a home without permission can help people avoid scenarios where small mistakes lead to questionable criminal charges.