The doorbell rings, and you peek through the curtains to see a couple of uniformed officers at your door. While many things may run through your mind, in truth, you only have a few options.
The first rule is not to do anything that could worsen the situation, like running or grabbing a weapon.
Next, you need to decide whether you want to talk to them. The police can stand there saying, “Open the door. We know you are in there,” all they like. That does not mean you need to answer. If you prefer to sit there and say nothing, it is your right to do so.
What if they utter the magic words?
The police equivalent of Abracadabra is “I have a warrant.” As long as it is correct, they have the right to force your door open if you do not open, leaving you to pay for the damage.
If they say they have a warrant
You do not need to open the door yet. Ask the officer to hold the warrant up so you can see it. If they want to arrest you, it must have your name on it. If they want to search the property, it must state the address. In either case, if any detail is wrong or it lacks a judge’s signature, you can tell the officers to return when they have corrected it.
There is one more option if you have a back door
If you prefer, you could exit through the back and go around to speak to the officers outside your house. If, however, they have an arrest warrant, they will arrest you if you do so.
The one thing you do not want to do is permit them to enter your home without a warrant. If a police visit results in an arrest or you think they will return, seek help to understand your legal options. You are in a precarious situation, and what you do next could be crucial.