There’s nothing more terrifying than looking out your front door, just to see a police officer standing on the other side. You don’t know what they want until you open the door, but at the same time you have some reservations about doing so.
Here are some of the many steps you should take if you find yourself in this challenging situation:
- Don’t invite the officer inside: It’s your first instinct, especially if you want to “play nice,” but it’s a mistake. Don’t let the officer inside unless they can provide a warrant signed by a judge. You’re better off conversing with the officer at your front door.
- Remain silent: It doesn’t matter if the officer has a warrant or not, they can’t force you to talk to them. Sure, you may have to let them inside, but that doesn’t mean you have to answer their questions. Remain quiet, let them conduct their search and observe everything they do. You should also take notes of what you see, as doing so can help you should you be put under arrest.
- Don’t admit to anything: This goes along with remaining quiet. For instance, the officer may tell you that things will go much more smoothly if you simply tell them what you did wrong. This is a trick designed with the idea of you sharing more information. If you admit to anything, it will be used against you in the court of law.
- Don’t resist arrest: You hope it doesn’t come to this, but it could. And if it does, don’t resist arrest, such as by trying to run or physically attacking an officer. Doing so will complicate your case, as it will result in additional criminal charges.
When you take this basic approach, it’s easier to keep your calm if a police officer shows up at your door.
Regardless of what they’re looking for, this interaction could end up in your arrest. If it does, remain quiet and don’t do anything to put yourself at risk of injury or additional charges. Follow along with the idea that you’ll have the opportunity to protect your legal rights when your day in court arrives.