If a police officer shows up at your house, knocks on the door, and asks to come inside, your first question may simply be whether or not they have a warrant. You want to know if they already went to a judge and got a warrant that gives them legal permission to come into your house. There are a very precise set of steps that must be followed.
If the officer says that they do not have a warrant, then you typically do not have any obligation to let them inside, no matter how many times they ask. You have a right to privacy in your own home, and the officer cannot carry out a search without a warrant.
But this may lead you to wonder why they asked to come inside anyway? Clearly, the officer knew that they didn’t have a warrant beforehand. Why even approach you without getting one?
Your consent is one exception
There are some exceptions to the rules surrounding search warrants, such as when a crime is in process or when the police have a valid reason to believe someone is in serious physical danger. Another exception is if they can get a homeowner to give them consent. Once you say that they can come inside, they have a right to do so, even if they don’t have any evidence that would get them a warrant from a judge.
If you do find yourself in this situation, it’s clear that the officer is simply trying to find a way into your home, and it’s very important for you to know about all of your legal rights as a U.S. citizen.