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Do I have to open the door for the police?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Criminal Justice |

If you have a contingent of police at your door, you are likely going to have a bad day. But, the goal now is to mitigate how bad your day will be.

Do I have to open the door?

Maybe. If they have a “no knock” warrant or exigent circumstances to enter your home, the Northern New Jersey and the New York Metro police will breach your home. They will gain entry to your home.

If the police are knocking though, this may mean they have a warrant, but not necessarily. Ask them and call your lawyer. Without a warrant, they cannot come in. You also have no duty to answer questions, help the police out with their investigation or engage with them in any way while you are in your home. You can ask them to leave and even file a complaint if they will not go away.

What if they do have a warrant?

If the police have a warrant, they can legally enter your home, and it is a good idea to open the door. This does not mean that you consent to the search, and if they ask, and you do not consent, be specific, and say you do not consent. Sometimes, police will seek out consent, even if the warrant is valid to “shore up” their case.

What do I do once they are in?

If you have not already called your Northern New Jersey and the New York Metro lawyer, call your lawyer. Though, once the police enter, record everything. If you have a camera system, make sure it is recording, and make sure that you have copies. It is possible that they may want to take your camera system, and the warrant may or may not allow for it.

This is why it is important to have documentation of the encounter. And, even if the police threaten you, they are in your house, and you can film in your own home. That warrant only gives them the right to enter, search and seize what is outlined in the warrant. It does not infringe any of your other rights.

Remember, you do not have to engage

The most important right that this warrant does not abridge is your right to remain silent. Northern New Jersey and the New York Metro police officers have years of training and experience in twisting language to meet the narrative they want to prove. Any engagement you have with them can be used for that purpose.