What To Do When The Men In Blue Come Knocking
Imagine this scenario: you’re home watching t.v. and working on a jigsaw puzzle when a knock at the door startles you. You’re not expecting anyone and are shocked when you look through the peephole and see a couple of officers out on the porch. What could they possibly want? You’re about to find out.
Knock & Talk
Let’s say you open the door and two very friendly officers ask if they can come in to ask you a few questions. This is a basic investigative strategy police legally use in order to get their foot in the door with you. You haven’t done anything wrong; why not have a chat? Honestly, you can talk if you really want to, but there is a laundry list of reasons that you should never, ever allow police to search your home or property if they don’t have a warrant. It doesn’t matter how innocent you are. Don’t do it.
You Can Legally Refuse
If they don’t have a warrant, the police cannot conduct a search without your consent. Even if they tell you it will be better for you if you cooperate. Even if they tell you they’ll just go get a warrant anyway. Even if they suggest that you could be arrested if you don’t allow the search. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution is clear: you are protected from unreasonable searches. That means that no warrant and no consent equates to no search.
What About a Friendly Chat?
You understand that under no circumstances will you consent to a search. But what’s wrong with answering a few questions? Well—nothing. But step out onto the porch to talk. Why? Because police may be there looking for evidence. If they’re eyeing your home as you chat, they may see something that gives them probable cause to actually conduct a full-fledged search. The fact of the matter is, if they showed up without a warrant to start with, they likely don’t have enough evidence to really get a warrant. Asking to take a look around is part of their routine and their right. Politely declining is your right. Not only will it prevent a search in the immediate situation—it will also give your lawyer ammunition to use in your defense in the event you wind up in a courtroom based on the encounter.
But There’s Nothing Illegal in Your Home!!!
So there’s nothing that could possibly pique the interest of an officer anywhere in your home, right? Not in your teenage son’s room; not in your bathroom trash can; not in your spouse’s underwear drawer? What if a guest inadvertently left a stray joint in the seat cushions that you didn’t notice? The thing is you have nothing to gain by letting the police look at your place. Nothing. Conversely, who knows what could go wrong and what you might have to lose if they do conduct a search?
Fighting for your Rights
The Las Vegas criminal lawyers at Lobo Law are geared up to defend your rights after an arrest. If you are concerned about your future due to a search of your home, or to any other run in with the law, call us for a confidential consultation today.