1. If the police knock and ask you to enter your home, you do not have to allow them into your residence unless they have a search warrant which is signed by a Judge. The search warrant will describe in specific terms the location which the officers intend to search and generally will describe what items they are looking for. Upon being provided with a copy of the search warrant, allow the officers to conduct the search pursuant to the search warrant after you have verified that the location on the search warrant matches the address of your particular residence. Do not make any attempts to interfere or delay the officers in the performance of their duties regarding the search warrant. If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you should ask them to identify themselves with ID numbers prior to entering the residence. If they do not have a warrant and it is not an emergency situation, you should direct the officers to contact their local watch commander and have the watch commander contact your residence before allowing the officers to enter. If they do not have a search warrant and there are no exigent circumstances, you should not under any circumstances allow officers to search your residence without your consent. If you fail to register your objection or remain silent during the officer's questioning, you may be deemed to have engaged in an implicit and/or silent admission which will constitute a consent. Generally speaking, you should not allow anyone to search your residence and be emphatic in doing so without interfering with the officers during the performance of their duties. If a search warrant is presented to you and it clearly identifies your residence as the place to be searched and has been signed by a Judge, then you should allow the search to take place while at the same time indicating your objection for the record.

  2. In some emergency situations or what is deemed to be exigent circumstances (for example, when a person is screaming for help inside or when the police are chasing someone towards and in or through your residence) officers are allowed in such situations to enter and search your home without a warrant in order to effectuate arrest and/or investigate an emergency situation.

  3. If you are arrested, the police can search you and your area close by or any area within close proximity of where you are arrested. Under the law, this is deemed to be a search incident to arrest. If you are in a building, "close by" usually means just the room you are in. However, depending on the circumstances and nature of the case, officers will be allowed to search areas adjacent to the room you are in if it is reasonably related to the exigent circumstances and/or emergency situation.