Everyone has rights in the state of Virginia when the police are knocking at the door. You might have to let the police inside, but you don’t have to answer any questions. Here’s what you should do if the police show up on your doorstep.
What should you tell the police?
If the police knock on your door, you don’t have to let them in right away. Instead, ask them for identification and say that you want to see their search warrant. According to criminal law statutes, the police can only search your house if they have an official search warrant. Don’t let them in if they can’t provide this information.
You will have to let them in if they have a search warrant. However, you don’t have to say anything. If they try to ask questions, tell them that you won’t speak without a criminal defense attorney present. Anything you say might be used against you later. You can follow the police around the house, but don’t try to interfere with their search in any way.
When the police leave, write down everything that happened so that you have a physical record of the search. Call an attorney to figure out what you should do next. This might be the start of a criminal case against you.
When should you hire an attorney?
If you suspect that the police might accuse you of a crime, it’s never too early to hire an attorney. An attorney may explain your rights to you so that you know when to answer questions and when to stay silent. When the police arrive at your doorstep, it’s easy to make rash decisions without thinking. An attorney may help you prepare for this possibility so that you know what to do when the police arrive.
Your attorney might also help you defend yourself in a court case. The police could accuse you of theft, assault, robbery, drug possession, drunk driving, fraud or a number of other crimes. An attorney may be able to help you prepare a defense and avoid the penalties of a conviction.