You have to let law enforcement inside if they have a warrant

In some situations, police will knock on your door and ask if they can come inside. Many times, they do this while fishing for evidence.

It is generally not a good idea to allow law enforcement officers into your home, even if you don't think you are breaking the law. They might be looking for something so obscure that you would have no idea it could put you in legal jeopardy. Usually, you can ask to speak to police outside without much issue.

However, if law enforcement officers have a warrant, you must let them into your home. Be sure to review the warrant carefully. For example, if it isn't actually signed by a judge, it is not valid. It may also have a limited scope, meaning they can only search shared spaces in your home or can only look for certain items. Make sure you understand the scope and content of the warrant before you admit law enforcement into your home.

Law enforcement can come inside if they believe a crime is underway

The requirement for a warrant disappears if law enforcement officers have probable cause to enter or residence. Generally speaking, police can enter your home without a warrant if they hear illegal activity, hear signs of distress, smell something that indicates you may be engaging in drug use or if they chase someone who enters your home through a door or window.

Any obvious sign that there is a crime happening right now or that someone is in danger will allow law enforcement to enter. It's important to realize, however, that physical danger isn't always a factor. For example, if law enforcement officers have reason to believe that you are destroying evidence, they could force their way into your home. Sounds like a toilet flushing or a paper shredder running could be grounds for warrantless entry into your home.

Of course, the details of every police encounter differ. It is important that you stand up for your rights but also comply with the law. If you believe that you have been subject to an illegal search of your property or seizure of your possessions, you should take steps now to look further into the matter and protect yourself and your rights in the future.

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