The Cops Are At My Door - Now What?
This is meant to be a quick guide for a very specific situation. Nothing contained below should be construed as legal advice. The best thing you can do when interacting with the police is to request an attorney.
Knock, knock, knock!The police have just knocked on your door. Maybe it's early, maybe it's late - either way, you did not invite them. First, be respectful. These are individuals from the community who are just trying to do a job. Second, remain calm and politely ask them why they are there. Do not make any incriminating statements. Do not make any statements. Do not give them access to the inside of your home. Do not let them see into your home.
They're smooth talkers...Of course they are, it's part of their job. Unless the police show you a search warrant that pertains to the inside of your home, it is unlikely they legally can cross the threshold of your front door. They'll probably call you buddy and they'll probably say if you cooperate they'll help you. If you haven't already done so, ask them politely if you're under arrest. If you are not, ask them politely if you are free to leave. If you are not, tell them you want to contact an attorney. If you're free to leave, get out of there. Then follow the next step.
Contact a lawyer!Before you make any statements to the police (or any other government employee) it is always advisable to first speak with an attorney. In fact, you have a right to do so before speaking with a police officer. Any statement, literally any statement, you make to the police WILL be used against you. Whether or not you're charged with a crime, you should always consider contacting an attorney after the police show up at your home.