One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Do I have to let cops in my house if they knock on my door and tell me they need to come in?” The short answer: no.
Oftentimes, police will approach a residence because they have some questions for someone they believe lives at that home. Even if you happen to be the target of their investigation, you are under no obligation to answer their questions or let them into your home. You do not even have to open your door.
Do I Have to Let Cops in My House?
Short Answer: Not Without a Warrant.
If you do open the door, the police will most likely ask you if you are either the person they are looking for or if that person is inside the home. Again, you do not have to answer their questions and you will not get in trouble for simply saying no.
If you say no, the police will then most likely ask you if they can come inside and look around.
They ask this question because they are looking for evidence that the person they are looking for lives at that address. They will look around for pieces of mail with the subject’s name, photographs, or any other identifying information.
If they see anything that leads them to believe the person they are looking for lives there, the police will use that information and apply for either an arrest warrant or a search warrant.
Before the police get into your house without a warrant, there must be lawful consent to enter from a person with authority to let the police into the house. If they do not have an arrest warrant or search warrant, the police cannot enter a home without valid consent from a homeowner or other lawful resident.
If the police ask to come in and you tell them that they do not have your permission to enter the home, they are legally prohibited from entering your home.
If they choose to ignore your refusal and enter the home, any evidence they may find inside the home will likely be inadmissible in court.
If you are a parent and the police knock on your door and tell you they need to talk to your child, again, you do not have to let them into the house. Ask the police if they have a warrant to enter your home.
If they have a warrant, they must give you a copy of it; if they do not have a warrant, simply tell them they do not have your permission to enter your house.
The same rules apply if you live with roommates and the police show up looking for one of your roommates.
Contact a MN Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
The next time you ask yourself, “do I have to let cops in my house,” tell yourself not without a warrant. If you find the police knocking on your door, the safe course of action is to call the Minnesota criminal defense attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka.
Our Minnesota criminal defense lawyers will be able to find out why the police are at your house and, if necessary, could notify them that we represent you or a resident. Unless they have a warrant, they will no longer be able to attempt to make contact with the subject of their investigation.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day by a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer.
Do not hesitate to contact our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys if the police are looking for you.
If the police entered your home without a warrant, our Minnesota criminal defense lawyers will offer a free consultation to determine whether the police had a right to enter your home.
If not, our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys will fight to have any evidence collected suppressed.
Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.