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What should you do if the police are at your door?

In New York, there has often been concern among citizens about how to react in the presence of law enforcement officers. Knowing your rights is important, but it's equally important to understand what your best options are in any given situation that involves police.

For example, what do you do if the police show up at your door? FindLaw examines the limitations that police must observe when it comes to search and seizure. Despite what one may think, law enforcement is not simply allowed to search anyone's property without any reason. They must have either proof of a crime, evidence within their line of sight that a crime has occurred, or probable cause that they will find this evidence upon searching the premise.

Without a warrant and no probable cause, it's entirely within your legal rights to refuse entry to an officer who has shown up at your door. However, it's true that there are certain situations in which you may feel unsafe doing so. It's also possible for police to abuse their authority by threatening or intimidating you or others in your house. In some cases, they may even lie to attempt to trick you into allowing them entry into your home.

If you have been involved in an incident in which law enforcement tricked or forced their way into your home without a warrant, probable cause, or appropriate permission from you, you may benefit from contacting an attorney. They can help you to look into your legal options after the incident.

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