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Thread: When the police knock at your door

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    When the police knock at your door 
    #1
    If police should happen to knock on my door (likely because a neighbor reported drug use in my garage), what do I do? I understand that w/o a warrant, I am free to refuse entry and search. But how do I handle the situation?

    Do I open the door and stay inside my doorway with the police on the steps while politely answering questions and refusing entry? Or do I step outside my doorway, locking the door, and converse with them. If the police claim that I am under the influence of narcotics or even smell alcohol, can they arrest me since I am outside my door?

    Can they claim I am under the influence of narcotics and arrest me and search my property even if I politely refuse entry to my property while I am still inside my house?

    Can I go to the window, see that it is the police, and simply ignore the doorbell? ...even if they know I have looked out the window at them?


    I would like to answer the door and refuse search and entry, but I am worried that they would claim that I am under the influence and make an arrest due to that.

    Thanks for your help! -paranoid
     

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    #2
    Bluelighter LuGoJ's Avatar
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    It depends on where you live, I am sure that certain countries would have different laws on what constitutes probable cause. In the US they will need a warrant to enter the premises unless there is something in plain sight. Make sure there is nothing illegal within view from the door or else that is their ticket in.
     

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    #3
    Bluelight Crew Banquo's Avatar
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    FOR HOME POLICE ENCOUNTERS IN THE UNITED STATES:

    #1 - Be polite.

    #2 - You don't have to answer the door. However, if you are hosting a loud party and do not answer the door, it may arouse suspicion since it will sound like someone is home.

    #3 - If you do answer the door, step outside and close the door behind you. If the cops are blocking the way, politely ask them to move so that you can step outside. Be aware that if you answer questions OR if the cops detect the odor of marijuana that they can get a warrant OR execute a probable cause search should there also be the exigent circumstances.

    #4 - Beware of CONSENT SEARCH tricks. A knowing and voluntary consent to a search negates many of your rights to challenge under the Fourth Amendment. "You won't mind if we have a quick look around" is a cop favorite. The answer is always. "No, you cannot look around." "No, I am busy right now" works also.

    ACLU police encounter card:
    http://www.nvo.com/cd/nss-folder/upload/rightscard.pdf

    Mahan's simplified police encounter card:
    http://www.nvo.com/cd/nss-folder/upl...rightscard.doc

    ===

    As far as standing just outside of your door and public intoxication -- I don't think the area is usually considered public property, unless you live right on the street, so it would be difficult to charge you with public intoxication.
    Last edited by Banquo; 03-10-2007 at 02:47.
     

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    #4
    If I answer the door and step outside (closing the door behind me), doesn't that give the police the authority to arrest me for intoxication? What good does it do to go outside other than blocking their ability to enter my residence? They can always claim that I am under the influence and arrest me - inside or outside my house, right? Thanks!
     

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    #5
    Bluelight Crew Banquo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9volt
    If I answer the door and step outside (closing the door behind me), doesn't that give the police the authority to arrest me for intoxication? What good does it do to go outside other than blocking their ability to enter my residence? They can always claim that I am under the influence and arrest me - inside or outside my house, right? Thanks!
    Most states' intoxication statutes require that the intoxication be in a public place. Is the area outside of your door a public area?

    As an example, here is the Indiana statute:

    Public intoxication
    It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to be in a public place or a place of public resort in a state of intoxication caused by the person's use of alcohol or a controlled substance (as defined in IC 35-48-1-9).


    http://www.ai.org/legislative/ic/cod...1/ar5/ch1.html



    BUT there are differing opinions, among the states, over what constitutes a "public place." Most state statutes do not define public place, so interpretation is left to the courts.

    In Iowa, for example, the common hallway or front steps of an apartment building are considered a public place, since the public can access those places. Iowa vs. Booth

    In Indiana: a passenger in a vehicle on a public highway is in a public place; a person who was found drunk in a bank parking lot at night was in a public place; but NOT a person in a car parked on a private lane 20-30 feet from a public highway; a person's conviction for being found intoxicated while attending a party at a private residence was reversed because a private residence is not "usually accessible to the neighboring public." http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/police/aug02.htm

    So, it depends on where you live. You might want to stay in your house when answering the door.
    Last edited by Banquo; 03-10-2007 at 04:10.
     

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    #6
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    Also, keep in mind that in general it is always best to refuse entry and not to talk. Same goes for searches.
     

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    #7
    Ex-Bluelighter center's Avatar
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    Never talk to the police without a lawyer. Never. No exceptions. (Unless you have been wronged, of course).

    Name, age and date of birth are all sufficient.
     

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 9volt
    If I answer the door and step outside (closing the door behind me), doesn't that give the police the authority to arrest me for intoxication? What good does it do to go outside other than blocking their ability to enter my residence? They can always claim that I am under the influence and arrest me - inside or outside my house, right? Thanks!
    If you are expecting such a visit, maybe it would be a good idea to put a chain lock on your door and speak to them through that. This would make it unmistakably clear that you will not admit them without a warrant while rendering accusations of public intoxication incredible.
     

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    #9
    Peace
    My useless advice would be, don't answer the door. In my area, if you do that and they want in, they will get in. I answered the door. They asked to come in, I said no and started to go outside to talk to them. An officer stepped in front of the door to get hit by it. They grabbed me, threw me in a squad ( arrested for battery on an officer) and searched my house anyway. Just don't answer the door.
     

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    #10
    Bluelighter amor fati's Avatar
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    ^Some cops WILL do whatever they want. In reality there is nothing you can do to stop them at the moment, the only hope is to defend you're case in court. Plus you will need a decent lawyer... In the end, even if you were wronged and win the case you will be out a good deal of money.(my expierince is in the U.S. I'm not familiar with other countries)

    Inappropriate content (ranting) edited. --Johnny1
    Last edited by Johnny1; 14-10-2007 at 21:17.
     

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    #11
    Bluelighter amor fati's Avatar
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    ^haha sorry, i was kinda drunk

    All is forgiven. It can be a pain sometimes, but we try to keep this forum a bit on the serious side. --Johnny1
    Last edited by Johnny1; 15-10-2007 at 05:56.
     

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    #12
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    my friends had the cops called on them for loud music. they didn't answer the door, and the cops knocked it down. not only did they have to pay to get the door repaired, but they got busted, and the cops said they had suspicion that there was a 'rape' going on because a girl was screaming. they'll use the most bullshit excuses to search you. i've had my car searched twice, and i've NEVER smoked weed in my car. ignore the door? i suppose that would be a bad idea. they usually wouldn't show up unless they already had a warrant, or a reason to believe you are home.
     

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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bludragonfly
    My useless advice would be, don't answer the door. In my area, if you do that and they want in, they will get in. I answered the door. They asked to come in, I said no and started to go outside to talk to them. An officer stepped in front of the door to get hit by it. They grabbed me, threw me in a squad ( arrested for battery on an officer) and searched my house anyway. Just don't answer the door.
    I dont know whats worse: that the cops did that, or that Im not surprised at all that they did it.
     

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    #14
    the marijuana smell thing almost fucked me.

    i live in a complex and from my room i smelled someone smoking outside. police were looking for who it was and when they knocked on my door i could not refuse the search because there was an obvious odor, even though i hadn't been smoking. i could have gotten arrested cuz i did actually have stuff, but the fucking DUMBASSES couldnt find it...fucking cops can suck my dick.

    anyways, just goes to show that there is no 4th amendment, people get searched ALL THE TIME for stuff they didnt do. as long as they find stuff you're going to jail. how are you going to tell a judge that it was an unlawful search when they actually found stuff??
     

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    #15
    Bluelight Crew Johnny1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorder1010
    how are you going to tell a judge that it was an unlawful search when they actually found stuff??
    If the judge is impartial, and following the law, s/he must exclude evidence obtained as the result of an illegal search. That's the "teeth" in the 4th Amendment--that the evidence the cops find is excluded. There are some exceptions. Here's a page about it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_o...poisonous_tree

    Most cops don't understand this, but a strongly enforced exclusionary rule actually is responsible for good police departments. When you can be sloppy and get a search warrant with no reason, and get anything found admitted into evidence regardless, the police have no reason to work hard to build a good case. As our 4th Amendment goes away, we'll come closer to countries like Mexico where police work is not nearly as good because (among other things) they can get away with so much.
     

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    #16
    yes, im familar with this. the problem is that you have to prove that the tree is poisonous in the first place.

    in my case, if the cop smelled marijuana the tree is 100% a okay and the fruit is just as juicy as any other the cop has got his grimy little pig hands on.

    in reality, the judge should exclude the evidence as the result of an illegal search, but it just wouldnt have worked out that way, and it doesnt for many people in the U.S. I'm not attack you personally johnny, but i'm really sick of people saying things like, "technically, you would not be found guilty because of ...." because it simply doesnt work out that way and you are masquerading that it does. it should, but it doesnt.

    i would have been fucked, and would have gone to jail, and there would have been nothing i could do about it. what would i say? i wasnt smoking? they would laugh in my face, simple as that.
     

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    #17
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    There is always the option (if you live in a house) to make sure everyone is quiet and out of site (curtians blinds shoud be down for parties anyway) and instruct everyone to not open the door and to stay quiet. That you are going outside and will let yourself in with your key. Then check to see that the police are not at the back door, make sure u have ID on you so you can prove it's your house, exit the back door locking it behind you and then greeting the police on your front steps.

    That way they can't even use the excuse that they smelled marijuana when you opened the door. You might be hooked and booked but your house won't get searched. This of course would require a great degree of trust of those in your house should the police somehow claim your front yard is public property and arrest you for public drunkenness, or lie and say you hit them or ran in the street screaming or whatever.

    But if you are polite, humble, (never give the impression your having fun giving them a hard time, humility is imperitive) respectful and promise to keep the noise down politely refuse to consent to their enterring your house, if they threaten they will get a warrant let them do that it is highly unlikely they will and just using that as a trick to get you to consent.

    I think it's a pretty good idea to not get wasted at parties hosted at your own house anyway, lots of bad stuff can happen and IMHO it's best to not be drunk or too high so you can monitor guests behavior, who comes and goes, etc.
     

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