What To Do When You're Having a Party And Police Show Up

I'm having a party and the cops are at my door, what do I do?

1. Turn off the music, ask the guests to quiet down, push the drunk people out of the entranceway and get person whose name is on the lease ASAP. If, however, they are unable to come to the door follow the steps below:

2. Get a friend and have them videotape the encounter. DO NOT have them say anything whatsoever, and be sure that they do not ‘interfere with an arresting office’

3. Step outside and close the door behind you

4. Ask the police why they are there respectfully

5. If they ask to “look around” inside respond with:

I’m sorry, but I do not consent to any searches of this house

“Why not?”

I can’t let you inside without a warrant

If they keep pushing, ask “Am I legally required to comply

If they continue to push, respond with “I need to call my lawyer and will not answer any of your questions until I speak with him or her.

Finally, if they keep pushing ask “Am I being detained?

6. If they force their way in, speak loud enough for everyone to hear (but don’t be belligerent), “With all due respect officer, I don't consent to your entering my house" and make sure this is on tape

7. If they ask you a question that you don’t want to answer don’t lie, ever. It’s much better to refuse to answer questions and say “you’re going to have to speak to my attorney” than to lie


When can police enter my house?

Cops can ONLY come in if you let them in, if they have a warrant, or through exigent circumstances (i.e. there is an immediate emergency or if cops smell marijuana, where it is presumed you’re ‘destroying evidence’).

The major exception to the search warrant requirement is when consent is given to an officer’s request to enter (typically accidentally). If, for example, an officer is legally invited into your home, any illegal items that are in plain view can be seized as evidence, which can lead to an arrest. That being the case, keep any private or illegal items that you don’t want police to see out of view from your entrance area.

Most of the time, cops get into parties because hosts unknowingly invite them into parties. All the cops have to do is get you to consent to letting them in. Often times, they will say something along the lines of "We're going to check around inside to make sure everything is OK in there. OK?" If you don't want the cops to come in, then simply say something like, "No thank you officer. I don't consent to your entering my house/apartment."


What will the police say?

The cops will most likely ask questions to try to confirm that a crime is going on. They might ask something like, "You're serving alcohol to minors in there, aren't you?" If you get an entrapping question like this, do not lie to the cops, and don't try to give a long explanation. Instead, just politely decline to answer. Speak in a conversational manner and never be confrontational or rude. Don't ever get physical with a cop.


Am I required to show my ID?
Technically, no. If you’re above the age of 21 though, it’ll make things run more smoothly to just fork over your ID. Most of the time when officers are asking for your ID it’s to make sure that you’re not a fugitive.


What if the cops give me a ticket?

If an officer is intent on giving you a ticket, you’re not going to be able to talk them out of it. That being said, I’ve seen many people talk their ways into more tickets for being confrontational. Just accept the ticket, and do not try to fight with the officer. There's nothing you can do about it now, so save the arguing for your attorney.


What if the police come in anyways?

Without a warrant, consent, or exigent circumstances police have no right to come into your hours. If this does happen though, make sure that you’ve got it on camera and say loudly, "I don't consent to your entering my house/apartment." Do not become belligerent or physically confrontational, that will only make matters worse.


How loud is “too loud?”

Noise levels just have to be “an annoyance” to a passersby on the sidewalk

*pro tip: Take picture using the app Decibel 10th to show that you were trying to be conscious of the noise.


Police can LEGALLY LIE TO YOU to obtain evidence. Never listen to:
“You’ll make it easier on yourself if you just answer our questions”

“If you cooperate, you won’t get in as much trouble”

“I just want to talk with you” (ask if you’re being detained, and if they reply ‘no,’ walk away immediately and kindly ask them to leave the premises)

“What do you have in the house? Do you mind if I look around?”

“If anyone’s underage, we’ll just send them home and be done with it.”
“You will not be in trouble if you help us

Need advice?
Revised: April 10, 2017, 8:57 p.m.
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