If law enforcement officers come to my house, what should I do?
If the police or other law enforcement officers come to your home or apartment to gain entry, ask the officers if they have a search warrant. Before allowing officers into your home, request that they display the warrant through a window or simply step outside your dwelling to look at the document, closing the door behind you. After scrutinizing the search warrant, you may refuse to give consent if you see that there are inaccuracies or the warrant is incomplete.
Despite your objections, the officers may still search your home, at which point, you should (A) contact your attorney immediately and (B) ask officers if you can witness the search taking note of where they search, what items are taken and the names, badge numbers and agencies of the officers involved. Just because the officers have a warrant to search your home, you are under no obligation to speak. If law enforcement questions you, simply state you do not wish to answer and tell them you would like to consult with an attorney.
If officers do not have a search warrant, you do not have to give consent for officers to search your home or answer their questions. They cannot get a warrant simply based on your refusal or punish you for not cooperating. Even if they threaten to get a search warrant and come back, they may not be successful when they ask the court for one so do not be swayed.
If they insist on searching your home despite not having a search warrant and over your objections, which under some circumstances may be legal, do not interfere with the search in any way to avoid arrest. Just make it clear that you have not given your consent and if there is a witness to this, all the better. Contact your attorney, observe the search if permitted and record officer information as noted above.
More Than 50 Years of Combined Legal Experience Working for You
Facing criminal charges can be frightening. It is important to get the help of an attorney that has substantial experience in South Eastern Wisconsin’s court systems, is familiar with the prosecutors and judges, and has extensive knowledge of outcomes in similar court proceedings to give you a fighting chance against your charges. If you have been subjected to a search of your home by law enforcement, have been questioned or arrested in connection with a criminal investigation, contact the criminal defense Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd for help. Our experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys can defend you against charges including drunk driving, sex offenses, drug crimes, theft, and violent crimes. Contact our offices today for aggressive defense against the charges you face.