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Do I have to let police into my home?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Theft & Property Crimes |

No one wants to see a police officer show up at their home. You may assume that if an officer is at your house, you must let them in, but this is not true.

The U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects you from an unreasonable search and seizure in a place that you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. You have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your home.

You do not have to let them in without a warrant

This does not mean that the police cannot enter your home to conduct a search, such as a search for drugs or weapons, at all, but it does mean that they must have a warrant to do so.

Therefore, if the police show up at your house in Texas, do not automatically let them in. You do not even have to open the door for them, as long as they can hear you.

Ask to see the warrant before letting them in

Ask them for the purpose of their visit and if they have a warrant. You have a right to review a warrant before letting them in. You can ask them to slide it under your door or hold it up through a window so you can see it.

However, do not destroy the warrant if they slide it under your door. Destroying it or tearing it up will not prevent it from being valid and will not help your situation.

A valid search warrant allows the cops to come inside your house, and you should let them in.

The scope of a search warrant

They are only allowed to search for the specific items in the search warrant and the areas in which the items are likely to be found. For example, they should not be searching for kitchen utensils in your bedroom closet.

Letting the police into your home with a warrant does not negate your right to remain silent. You should not say anything unless you are asking to speak with an attorney.

If you are arrested or charged with a crime as a result of the search, there may be defenses available to you. A criminal defense attorney can examine the circumstances of your case and advise you on any potential defenses.