How To Refuse Police Entry into your Home

Our nation's forefathers fought for our right to be free of police or government harassment, including searches conducted without probable cause or a court order.  They were living in a time when British soldiers and agents regularly broke down their doors, seized their papers and searched their personal belongings without cause or due process.  These breaches of privacy and liberty were so egregious to our founding fathers that they explicitly barred their newly formed government from doing such unwarranted searches.  This right was codified as the Fourth Amendment.  It reads:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Memorize this right.  The Fourth Amendment is in place for your protection, but the police and other government agencies have developed sophisticated methods to get you to voluntarily abandon your right to unwarranted search or seizure.   To properly exercise your right to refuse police entry into your home, you must first thoroughly understand it.  Without understanding this right, you may unknowingly waive it and allow police into your home in situations that could jeopardize your legal standing if your case is taken to court.  Be vigilant in its defense as the police are far more experienced at intervening it than you are at defending it.

The Fourth Amendment gives you the right to refuse police entry into your home.  They may only enter your home if they have a signed search warrant, have reasonable grounds to believe a crime has been committed or is being committed inside of your home, or have reasonable grounds to believe someone is badly injured in your home.  All too often however, ordinary citizens let police into their homes and voluntarily agree to let officers conduct extensive searches of their home.  If you agree to let the officer have these privileges, you are legally culpable for what he finds.  Even if you are guilty of a horrendous crime, you have the right to due process of law.

You have the right to refuse police entry into your home unless several conditions are met.  The right, however, has several shades of gray. For instance, if an officer sees contraband in your house or evidence of a crime in "plain view," he may forcibly enter.  For in-depth commentary on the "plain view" clause, please go to

If a police officer insists or demands to be let into the house, ask that he wait until you can obtain a lawyer to witness the search.  If a police officer denies this request and forcibly enters your home without consent or meeting those conditions, makes sure to get his name, rank and badge number.  Take scrupulous notes of the encounter and then call your lawyer for council.

Remember, you have the right to refuse police entry into your home.  It is, however, a right you can waive unknowingly or knowingly. Know and exercise your rights vigilantly -- our forefathers would have it no other way.


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