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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default Can the Police Raid a Party if You Refuse to Open the Door

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Missouri. So about 3 months ago me and some college roommates threw a rather large party on homecoming weekend. Eventually cops showed up but we decided not to answer the door as we figured they most likely had no right to just barge into our house. I had been in this situation before and cops had never just barged in, they always just surrounded the house, banging and shining lights on the windows, and eventually left after awhile. Likewise, they sat outside of our house for about 4-5 hours, towed several cars that were illegally parked (we did tell people where to park but several clearly disregarded our warning), and arrested a few people outside for MIP's, Drug Possession, etc. However, me and my roommates received no charges and no letters or any type of warning after this party.

    We haven't had a party like this since, but I was wondering what would happen if we did decide to have another party (most likely not as large) for new years? Basically, what will the cops do if they bust our party and we decide to just have everyone stay, wait it out, and not answer the door again? Like I said, it's a college town so more than likely there will be ages varying between 18 and 22. I myself am 20, with only one roommate over 21.

    Also, my house is a little ways off campus, and the noise can't be heard from outside since we always throw our parties in the basement. I believe the cops were forced to bust the party last time due to the illegal parking possibly being a safety hazard.

    Long story short, what would happen if cops did show up to this second party and we didn't answer the door again?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: House Parties: What Powers Do Cops Have

    Well, it could be nothing.

    Or perhaps if they're hearing loud music and screaming but nobody answers the door....they might believe somebody is hurt or in need of aid. Bye bye, front door.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,495

    Default Re: House Parties: What Powers Do Cops Have

    Or, alternately, you and your guests could behave like considerate human beings, not having the music (or the guests) loud enough to bother the neighbors, not using illegal substances (or using legal substances illegally), and basically not giving the cops a reason to show up at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: House Parties: What Powers Do Cops Have

    Next time there will probably be the same sort of issue and response. Or, if the status of the law is such that they can force entry if there is underage drinking, then they might justify forcing entry. Your call.

    Understand that you risk jail if you continue to engage in criminal activity (permitting underage people to consume alcohol and causing unlawful noise - if that's the case). Is it worth it? Given your age, and the fact that I have four teenagers - one in college - I suspect the answer will be, "Yeah." But, such an attitude comes with the age and a sense of immortality ... that quickly gives way to surprise, anger, and occasionally humility when/if the law hammer comes down on you.

    Good luck.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,945

    Default Re: House Parties: What Powers Do Cops Have

    Not only do you risk criminal problems but civil as well. Having a house party where people get drunk and drive off, then get in an accident that harms/kills someone, will open you up to civil liability as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: House Parties: What Powers Do Cops Have

    Not only do you risk criminal problems but civil as well. Having a house party where people get drunk and drive off, then get in an accident that harms/kills someone, will open you up to civil liability as well.
    Yep. Most states have what are called "host laws", under which you are held responsible for the alcohol that you serve. You are responsible for your guests, and that includes keeping them off the roads if they've been drinking.

    You should rethink your party worries.

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