What Should I Do If Police Knock on My Door and Want to Look Around?
If the police don’t have a search warrant, then no one is under any obligation to let law enforcement agents into their home and most attorneys would recommend against letting law enforcement agents into their home. If the officer or agent wants to speak to your and they told you it was about the investigation they were doing then it is likely in your best interest to decline to speak and then call a DC federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. There is no benefit to speaking with law enforcement.
Shouldn’t I Show Them I Have Nothing to Hide?
That is a typical instinctive reaction that people have which is, “I don’t have anything to hide, so I should just cooperate.” However law enforcement know this reaction and play upon it by telling you that you can stop answering questions whenever you want since you have nothing to hide. What needs to be realized, however, is that there is no downside to politely declining to speak to law enforcement and it can’t be held against you. No judge, or prosecutor is ever going to say you will be punished for refusing to speak when we approached you.
Refusing to speak only benefits you because it keeps you from making statements before you’ve had a chance to think about them while also keeping you from speaking without your attorney. There is no downside to refusing to speak, until later in the process by which time you will likely have consulted with an attorney who is trained and able to help you make that decision. So overall this is why there is a benefit to not speaking and a lot of disadvantages to speaking to law enforcement.
Is There Ever a Time When I Should Speak to Law Enforcement?
The only time it is advisable to attempt to talk your way out of something is if you get stopped for a speeding and knew with 100% certainty that you did nothing else wrong and that the officer did not suspect you of doing anything wrong. Unfortunately, it is very seldom that you can be 100% sure that you are not being suspected of something else so even in this case it may be in your best interest to refuse to speak.
Typically when law enforcement approaches you at your home they already believe they have enough to arrest you, at which point you are not going to talk your way out of it. Even if you are not guilty and all you are saying is you didn’t do anything wrong, it still will not help. It is much more likely that something you say is interpreted some way and eventually used against you then it is for you to help your case at all by talking.
There are generally much better ways to present your side of the case to a prosecutor or law enforcement without exposing you to any type of risk.
What Should I Do If The Police Come and Begin Searching My House Really Early In The Morning?
If the police come and begin searching your house and if they have a search warrant, you should comply. You should not attempt to obstruct the government searching your home. You should not attempt to destroy anything or otherwise alter anything in your home. You should speak quietly and not submit to an interview because what will happen is the government will attempt to interview you while they’re conducting the search warrant and they’ll know that you’re feeling pressure and that you’re feeling like a little bit in shock because this most likely never happened before. They know all this and they play upon that and they will try and use that to their advantage and again, they will try to interview you and sometime these interviews they’ll attempt to have them go on for hours.
They will also attempt to interview family members, people who are home, who are all going to be scared out of their mind. So I would advise against having any one submit to an interview and everyone has absolute right to not speak to law enforcement. Everyone has the right to speak to law enforcement if they want to it is usually not going to help in any way.
David Benowitz and his firm are the best strategic and compassionate teams you will work with. Mr. Benowitz and his team are diligent and proactive, which is further enhanced by David’s methodic and strategic approach to law. My case was a very complicated and emotionally charged case involving classified information, where I was facing three indictments, two carrying life sentences and one carrying 20 years. Mr. Benowitz utilized a network of lawyers coupled with his own strategy to navigate the case to success! I sincerely recommend David Benowitz quite literally with my life.
I found David to be very dedicated to fighting for your loved one’s rights. I also highly appreciated the fact that David kept us informed and empowered throughout the whole process.
Mr. Benowitz is an incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated professional. His commitments to social justice and community outreach are exemplary. I wholeheartedly recommend him for any matter.