Do not allow your home to be searched without the protection of a criminal defense attorney. It is in your best interest to work with a lawyer as soon as you are aware that the police are investigating you for a crime. Do not assume that just because you are innocent, the police will not arrest you. Whether you are innocent or guilty, the police are simply trying to find the perpetrator of a crime. At the end of the day, it is a jury that decides innocence or guilt but your arrest can create serious challenges in your life, making it critical that you hire an attorney as quickly as possible. If the police come knocking on your door, call our office and get the help you need to ensure that your rights are protected.
In the meantime, here are some basic things you need to know.
1. You do not need to let them in. The only one that can waive your constitutional rights is you. If you agree to let police officers into your home, you are opening the door to a search and seizure. It works this way because the police can seize anything that is in plain view.
2. Ask for a warrant. If you ask for a warrant and they do not have one, the officers will most likely go to a judge and try to obtain one. This gives you more time to call and speak with a criminal defense attorney. Warrants can be issued quickly so make that call right away.
3. Speak with them outside if possible. This ensures that a police officer cannot claim that they saw drugs, weapons or anything else that is illegal. Since they can seize what is in plain view, you want to eliminate their view of anything. Many innocent people have been arrested for things that look like drugs but were not (as an example).
4. Do not answer questions without a lawyer. Anything that you say can be repeated in court and used against you. Questions can be leading or given in a way that may make you appear guilty of a crime. A lawyer can object to certain questions, ask for clarification and make sure that you are not asked anything inappropriate.
5. Remain calm. Do not give the police a reason to arrest you. If you become worked up or aggressive, they could say that you were disturbing the police, or worse – attacking an officer. If an arrest is made at your home, they can search the home as part of the investigation. Do not give them the opportunity by remaining calm and calling a lawyer right away.
If you are concerned that you may be under investigation, call and speak with a criminal defense attorney right away. Doing so can often prevent the police from ever showing up at your home. For example, a lawyer can go with you to the station to voluntarily answer a limited number of questions. Unless the police have enough to arrest and charge you, there is no need for them to visit your home without a warrant.