They say a man’s home is his castle, but if the police are hammering their fists on your door, quoting ancient proverbs will not do you much good. What will do you good is understanding your legal rights.
The proverb means that you are in charge inside your home, and others need your permission to enter. Others include the police on most, but not all, occasions.
Police officers can enter your home when they have a search warrant or a warrant to arrest you. A judge must validate the reason they want to enter your property and sign the permit. If they are standing at the door, make sure the permit details are correct.
Law enforcement officials can enter your home when you invite them in. You do not have to send them an RSVP like for a child’s birthday party. You only have to say yes when they ask if you mind if they come in. It is an easy trap to fall into.
There are exceptions to these rules, known as exigent circumstances. When the police believe there is a crime happening inside, someone is in imminent danger or evidence may be destroyed, they can barge their way in without your permission. They can also do so when chasing a suspected criminal if they believe they hopped into your building.
Contesting whether the search was legitimate or not is one of the key tactics a criminal defense attorney can use to defend you. Knowing your rights when the police knock on your door may avoid the charges in the first place.