Your home, whether that means apartment, house or other dwelling, is allowed some special protections under the law. If the police come to your home, you usually do not have to let them in unless they have an arrest or search warrant. If they claim to have an arrest or search warrant, it is perfectly reasonable to ask them to slip it under the door or hold it up to a window. Don’t be alarmed if the police don’t appreciate your request. It’s a perfectly reasonable request, and rest assured, if the police had actual evidence that the situation was truly urgent, they would have already kicked the door down.
Even with a arrest or search warrant, police officers may only search for the suspected evidence in the suspected locations notated on the warrant. In addition, the police also have the option of obtaining an arrest warrant, wich allows them to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they have a reasonable belief the person listed on the warrant is inside.
So what to do?
First off, regardless of the situation, you always maintain your basic constitutional rights. Absent an arrest or search warrant, you can politely and calmly tell the officers through the door or window that they do not have your permission to enter or search. If you decide to speak to the officers outside, pull the door closed behind you. Tell the officers that you would like to know if you are free to leave, if they say yes, direct any further questions to your attorney and inform the police that you will be remaining silent going forward.
If the police do decide to search your house or arrest you, don’t interfere. Remain silent and call your attorney at the first opportunity.