Criminal defense may begin when police knock on the door

Many people in Alabama and surrounding regions often wonder what to do if police knock on their doors and ask to come inside and conduct a search. There are laws that govern such matters, and a concerned individual may want to clarify such issues before determining how best to proceed in such circumstances. In fact, one might say that a good criminal defense begins before ever opening the door.

A situation is entirely different if a police officer produces a valid search warrant, in which case a homeowner must allow entry but need not discuss the matter further without benefit of legal representation. If, however, no search warrant is shown, then a homeowner is within his or her rights to deny the officer entry. Authorities are bound by strict protocol when it comes to the search and seizure process, as well as the arrest and booking processes.

Generally speaking, a homeowner may increase the chances of a positive outcome by cooperating and being as polite as possible. It is perfectly acceptable to inquire as to the reason for the police officer’s visit. A person being questioned without benefit of legal representation is also protected under the Fifth Amendment with the right to remain silent, but he or she should verbally invoke those rights.

Someone might wonder what the purpose of building a strong criminal defense is if no arrest has been made nor charges filed. Since one can never presume what may happen an hour, several days or weeks later, it may be best to arm oneself with as much information and protection as possible. An experienced Alabama criminal lawyer can help in this regard.

Source:, “Police at my door: what should I do?“, Accessed on Jan. 25, 2017