No one wants police to show up at their door to question them about a drug crime. It can be scary and intimidating. But if you do find yourself in this situation, knowing what you shouldn’t say to officers can help you navigate the conversation as peacefully as possible and protect your rights.
“Sure, come on in.”
If police officers do not have a warrant, you do not need to let them in your home to search it. There are exceptions, like emergencies and exigent circumstances. However, in general, you can say no if police ask to come inside to search or ask you questions.
However, officers have several ways they may try to get inside. They might say things like, “If you have nothing to hide, you should let us in,” or “It’s pretty hot out here; could we talk inside?” But you can say no to them. If you do speak with them, step outside to do so and close the door behind you.
“I’ll hurt you and your family.”
Making any threats to a police officer is not likely to end well for you. In fact, threatening them could result in assault charges. Even if you don’t touch the officer or physically hurt someone, you can be charged with menacing or making threats.
Further, saying you’ll come after the officer or their family can escalate an already tense situation. Under these circumstances, police can become (even more) unwilling to speak with you respectfully and calmly.
“Yes, I can answer some questions for you.”
You may not be in the police station, but police are still trying to get information about a crime when they ask you questions at your home. Whether these questions concern you, your child or someone else who lives with you, you have the right to refrain from answering them.
For instance, you need not answer questions like how you pay for your home, where your spouse was two nights ago or whether you use any drugs. You can respectfully decline to answer to avoid offering up information police can later use against you or someone you love.
Whatever the case may be, if the police show up at your door, stay calm, be respectful and contact an attorney.