One police tactic is the ‘ knock and talk " . Basically , the police may not have enough information for a search warrant but they have a tip or suspect some type of criminal activity. It begins with a police officer knocking on the door then requesting to come in in to the house to talk. The police hope to see some evidence of a crime , drug activity , or the smell of marijuana . One thing to remember , you do not have to answer the door for the police or the Amway salesman.
The Indiana Court of Appeals recently suppressed the evidence from a knock and talk search. The homeowner refused to answer the door. The police waited forty-five minutes after the initial refusal . One officer looked into a window where he saw beer cans. a tow truck was called to tow a parked truck. The officers threatened that the truck would be towed if no one came to the door. finally , the folks inside answered the door and you can guess what happened next. charges of underage alcohol consumption.
The Indiana Court ruled the search was illegal and the police overstayed their welcome . Relying on Florida v. Jardines 133 S. Ct. at 1414 , the court held ;
[W]hen it comes to the Fourth Amendment, the home is first among equals. At the Amendment’s very core stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion. This right would be of little practical value if the State’s agents could stand in a home’s porch or side garden and trawl for evidence with impunity . …
The takeaway is don’t answer the door if police come knocking. Secondly , a man’s home is still his castle for the time being.
Thanks to the Fourth Amendment , you can read their analysis here .