An officer came to my door of my place of residence and said they were there to ask questions. Was I legally required to open the door? I know I am not required to answer any questions. Am I legally required to open the door?
I told the officer I would be right there and come right out, I just needed to get my shoes and text a friend who is a law proffessor because I wanted them present on the phone for any questioning.
The officer didn't wait a second. The officer walked around to my kitchen window as I was doing what I said I was - grabbing my shoes and walking to the door (and texting the law proffesor friend to see if they were availible - they were out of the country). They could see all of this through the windows of my home and the windows of the door. The officer saw that I had a guest in my home. The officer told the guest they would be arrested if they did not come and immediately open the door.
My guest hesitated, and I just stood there for a second just shocked. I suddenly felt like I really needed a lawyer present... I didn't know what to do. The officer started screaming to open the door. I had no idea what the hell was going on. My guest came up and comforted me and told the officer they were comming. They opened the door, just as my law proffessor friend called me from out of the country. Police records say all the events took about 3.5 minutes from when they showed up to when they radioed that I was in handcuffs.
When they walked in, they arrested me immediately. They had a municipal warrant. They asked no questions.
If an officer demands to open my door, and does not state they have a warrant or court order, am I required to open the door to my home?
Is any guest in my home required?
If they had stated they had a warrant (and they only said they were just there to just question me) would I be required? I assume I would be. I would at least be required to go outside and be arrested at my door or just outside my door.
If my guest had continued to refuse to open the door, would the officer really have been able to charge them with a crime for obstruction? The officer said they were only there to ask questions of me. Is it obstruction of justice for a guest in my home to refuse to open the door to my home to question me and to leave that up to me? The guest says the officer was adamant they were just there to question - and yes I know it is legal for the police to lie like this. If the officer had informed the guest there was a warrant would that have changed our rights or responsibilities about opening the door or not? about the accusation that it was obstruction of justice to not open the door?
Thankfully my guest was not arrested. I was.
What were my rights?