FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. In recent days, we’ve heard news about what can go wrong when police show up at your door. A man was recently killed when a swat team arrived at his home. Though the man had committed no crime, officers had received reports of a hostage situation and believed he may have been armed.
Swatting is a dangerous game in which a person makes a false police report against another person with the intention of sending a swat team to the person’s home. It’s a prank that is becoming more common among internet trolls and gamers. At best, the prank can lead to lost resources for local law enforcement and a scare to the person being pranked. In the worst case scenarios, swatting can lead to a person losing his or her life. According to Vox, a man lost his life after he was swatted. Police showed up at his home and shot him when they thought he was reaching for a gun. The man was just confused about what was going on.
Yet, a person doesn’t have to be swatted to have police show up on their front door. Neighbors can call for a noise complaint or if they believe their neighbors are using or selling drugs. So, what should you do if police show up at your door?
First of all, ask if officers have a warrant. If officers have a warrant, it may be a good time to call your criminal defense lawyer. While officers would have the right to search your home with a warrant, you still retain the right to remain silent. If police have a warrant, remain silent and ask to speak to a qualified criminal defense lawyer like Michael D. Weinstein, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
If police don’t have a warrant to search your home, you have the right to deny officers’ entry. In general, even if you have not committed a crime, you should avoid consenting to a police search of your home. It invades your privacy, for one. And, secondly, if the officers have the wrong idea about you, they may try to find evidence to support their claims. You may even want to avoid opening the door. If you open the door to police, anything they see from your stoop can be used against you in court. According to Primer Magazine, you should either step outside your home to speak to officers, or speak to officers through the door. If officers don’t have a warrant, you have the right to tell the police that you don’t want to chat.
However, there are situations where people may have no choice. If officers come with a swat team, they can break down your door. If a phone call was made, officers may have a warrant to enter your home. If you are facing criminal charges, or if you are under investigation by police, it is important to protect your rights. Visit the criminal defense lawyers in Fort Lauderdale at http://mdwlawfirm.com/ to learn more about your rights and options.