Can i be charged for a crime if i tell the police that my son, who has a warrant, is not at the house when indeed he is?

Asked about 2 years ago - Portland, OR

my son failed to appear at his sentencing court date. a warrant was issued. a few nites ago the police showed up at the door. i didnt answer. the deputy came around to the back door banging on glass sliding door with flashlite. the dogs ran over and opened the curtains and the deputy saw me. i quickly went over and closed the curtains and told him that i had nothing to say to him and to please leave. he requested i open the door and talk to him. i told him that i have nothing to say to you and they were to please leave immediately. they proceeded to leave the property and sit on the road for about 15 minutes and then left. do they have the right to go around my house looking in and knocking on windows just because i dont answer the door. what can i be charged with if my son is here.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Mark C Cogan


    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Exercising your right to remain silent is not a crime. But lying to the police frequently can get a person arrested.

    Be smart. Tell the police you will not speak without your attorney present. And do NOT post anything online about your or your son's legal issues. The police can read what you post on a public forum such as this.

  2. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You don't have to let the police into your home if they don't have a warrant to search the place. But if they do have a warrant, then you do have to let them in, and they can use force to get in if you refuse. It seems quite likely that they may come back with a warrant.

    You have the right to not answer the police's questions. But if you answer and you lie, you could be charged with obstruction of justice. If you try to keep your son hidden, you could be charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive from justice.

    Your son, and you, cannot hide from this problem and hope it goes away. Consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you possibly can. (You're actually going to need two attorneys, one for him and one for you. This is because you two might have what's known as a 'conflict' in the legal system - the same lawyer can't represent you both.) Your son will be entitled to a publicly-financed defense attorney if he can't afford one.

    Please read the following notice:

    Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and... more
  3. Thomas K Coan


    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes, you probably could be charged with obstruction of justice or providing false information to a police officer. You don't want to put yourself into any trouble, and you want to be protective of your son, so the best thing to do would be to remain silent. As to looking into your house through your windows, police have all the rights of a normal citizen, so there lawfully in a spot where they can easily see into the house, is not unlawful for them to do so. However, if they are on your property and you want them to leave you can tell them to do so in a should honor your request or it could be considered trespassing.

  4. Troy Austin Pickard

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes, lying to the police can be a crime. If you don't want to give the police certain information, the best thing to do is to give them NO information and say that you won't answer any questions without your lawyer. If you start answering questions, and then stop in the middle, this can look even more suspicious.

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