In short, it is when a police officer knocks on your door with the purpose of speaking with you. Cops are allowed to approach your home unless their actions (such as having a drug-sniffing dog with them) show they are there to search you or your home. What does that mean for us in the real world? Basically, if any other person can walk up to your front door, knock on it, and request to speak with you, the police can too. The United States Supreme Court has held that the door knocker (or doorbell) on your door is effectively an invitation for people to knock on the door or ring the doorbell. What happens next is up to the homeowner or the occupier of the home.
Therefore, a “knock-and-talk” literally means the police will knock on your door and try to start a conversation, just like anybody else might knock on your door. The cops don’t need a warrant or even a reason to be there. The difference is that during this conversation the officers will be looking to see if anything incriminating can be seen through your door or window, or if they can get you to confess to a crime. If either of these happens, you may find yourself under arrest.
My next blog will discuss what you should do to protect yourself and your home if this happens to you. If you find yourself under arrest, call us right away. We can help!