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What do I do if I’m being raided?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2022 | White Collar Crimes

Let us set the stage. You hear rumors in the office that the police or FBI are sniffing around the office. People are being asked questions about potential white collar crimes or allegations, but you have not done anything wrong, so you do not pay attention. Then, one day, you hear a loud banging at your door. The police are there, and they want in. What do you do?

They may not actually have a warrant

Remember, just because the police are at your door does not mean they have a warrant. Without a warrant, unless they have some exigent circumstances, they cannot legally enter or search your home without your consent. You also have no duty to interact with them, help them with their investigation or even answer questions. Indeed, if they do not have a warrant, you could ignore them, but, at this point, since you do not know if they have a warrant, ignoring them may not be wise.

If they are waiting, that is a good thing

If the cops want to breach your home, and they have a warrant that gives them the ability break down your door, it is a good thing if they knock. It means that they do not see you as a danger, but it does not mean they will wait forever. In fact, if you ignore their knocking, you will probably next hear the sounds of the police breaking down your door or a drill disconnecting your door locks and hinges.

Get to the door

Once you get to the door, ask if they have a warrant. If the answer is no, then use your best judgment on how to proceed. A call to your attorney would be a good idea at this point.

If the police have a warrant and you do not open the door, they will forcibly open it.

Once you open the door, they will proceed in, so start recording now on your phone or video camera.

Documentation is key

Once you begin to engage with the police, it should be on camera. Get a copy of the warrant and as much information on who is in your home as possible. Keep track of what they damage and take, and do not forget to ask for an inventory. Of course, at that point, if you have not already done so, call your attorney.

If they ask if you consent to the Beaumont, Texas, search, you do not have to consent. In fact, it is likely in your best interests to state affirmatively and repeatedly that you do not consent to the search. This will keep your option to fight that warrant and any evidence that results from it open. If you consent though, you likely have given up your ability to fight that evidence and the warrant.