When police knock at your door, it can be a jarring and startling experience. They have a tendency to knock quite firmly and announce their presence rather loudly.

Officers conducting investigations will frequently try to gain entrance to someone’s home by asking permission to come in. Do you have to let officers in to your home if they show up to ask you questions?

You can cooperate with the police without letting them inside

Even if the weather is bad or traffic is noisy, it is almost always safer for you to have a discussion with law enforcement officers outside on your porch or in the yard.

If you know that they want to build a case against you or a member of your family, you can politely decline to answer questions or invoke your right to have an attorney present for questioning. You are under no obligation to let them in to your house unless they have a warrant.

The danger of letting police inside without a warrant

If you haven’t engaged in any illegal activity, you may see no harm in letting police officers in to your home. You may think that if you let them in, you can ask them to leave eventually. Unfortunately, officers can use access to your home to look for any sort of evidence of criminal activity.

If they spot anything that might serve as evidence of a crime, they can potentially then continue searching your house even if you ask them to leave. Cleaning residue that looks like drugs or incense with a strong smell might be all it takes to give officers an excuse to search your home without your permission or a warrant.

If officers force their way in to your home or otherwise conducted an illegal search, that misconduct could play a role in an eventual case against you. If evidence found in an illegal search or seizure was used to convict you, you may have grounds for an appeal because of that police activity.