Your Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney request your free consultation

Posted on March 23, 2016 in Crime

Police at Your Door? Protect Yourself and Know Your Rights at Home

Police can approach you at home, at work, or on the street, whether or not you have actually committed a crime in Arizona. Though they usually just want information, this can be an alarming moment. Although you might feel frazzled at that moment, it is vital to know and practice your rights when the police come to the home- anything you do or say at this time could be used against you later.

The Right to Remain Silent

Your Phoenix home is secure under maximum search protection, as granted by the Supreme Court. Whether a person is arrested or merely questioned, there are a few terms with which he or she should be familiar:

  • Probable cause. When a Phoenix officer has probable cause, he or she has a realistic reason for suspecting a home or individual. However, this is not enough to enter a property; it’s merely grounds to obtain a warrant.
  • A warrant. A police officer may present you a search or arrest warrant when he or she comes to your home. You must obey these orders.

Though these documents authorize police to detain you or search the premises, you still have the right to remain silent and should contact a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix as soon as possible. Here are a few other ways you can protect yourself when police come to the home:

  • Meet them outside. Always check who is at your door, and if police do not have a search warrant, speak with them outside. You may either leave through another door and meet them in your driveway or speak to them without fully opening the door. You can also simply decline to answer; they will either leave or slide some contact information under the door.
  • Find out why they are there. As with any visitor, ask why they are there. Officers may be canvassing the neighborhood following a local crime or simply investigating a noise complaint. Police may, however, want to investigate your home, whether or not they have a valid suspicion. You don’t have to let them in unless they have a search warrant.
  • Secure legal representation. You have the right to be represented by an attorney when speaking to the police. If you’re detained or taken to a station, this is particularly important.

Know your rights and exercise them when an officer comes to your door. Though law enforcers may ask you to speak with them downtown, cooperating without legal representation can lead to complex issues or extensive litigation.

Protect Your Best Interests by Exercising Your Rights

Being asked to speak at the precinct is common, but it can lead to legal headaches, even if you didn’t do anything wrong. If you’re taken to a police department, whether or not you are being booked, be mindful of the tactics officials may use:

  • Expert witnesses. Investigators may claim they have expert witnesses that can put a person away for a crime he or she may have committed. Whether or not these individuals exist, this threat encourages a person to confess.
  • Good cop, bad cop. One cop gets you to trust him or her while the other confuses or threatens you, either by leaving you wondering if you’re being detained or being vague about your rights.
  • Filibuster. Police may hold you while they continue investigating a crime or just leave you waiting while they take their time processing or filing paperwork. Being left alone in a room wondering what is going on can put stress on a person and that fear can be used to manipulate a suspect.

These tactics are designed to take advantage of your trust and otherwise manipulate you. They are often deceptive and extremely confusing for an arrestee, which is why securing legal representation – even when you aren’t under arrest – is important.

Contact a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney ASAP

If you are taken into custody, harassment or manipulation can lead you into a dangerous legal situation, and you may be held liable for a crime you didn’t commit. Contact Craig Orent, experienced attorney in Arizona, for more information on your rights.