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Can the Police Follow You into Your Home?

In this video, we’ll take a look at whether the police can follow you into your home in Wyoming or South Dakota.

On the one hand, the police have the right to enter your home if they have a warrant. On the other hand, you have the right to refuse consent to entry, and the police may not be able to force their way in. So let’s take a look at the law in these states to see which side has the better argument!

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00:00:00:09 – 00:00:09:11
Speaker 1
Hi, everybody. Do you have to stop and talk to a cop if he follows you home? This is Christina Williams with Just Criminal Law.

00:00:09:12 – 00:00:30:11
Speaker 2
And. Hi, I’m David Mann, legal storytelling specialist. Okay, that’s a good question. Do you have to stop? Do you have to talk to a police officer? If he follows you home. So if we sort of put together a made up sort of scenario here, maybe maybe you’re driving along and you’re playing your music really loud or something in your in your car.

00:00:30:11 – 00:00:47:09
Speaker 2
So something you think is probably fine, but you’re, you know, it’s really loud and and maybe you’re honking your horn or something, like maybe doing a couple of dumb things, but, you know, and you drive home, you pull into your driveway and notice that a police officer has been following you and is stopped outside your driveway.

00:00:48:06 – 00:01:08:12
Speaker 1
Right. And generally, what happens next is the officer’s going to say, hey, do you mind talking to me for a minute? Hmm. Right. And most people. Yeah, most people are going to stop and get out of their car or they’ve already gotten out of their car, walk down and and meet the officer to talk to him.

00:01:08:21 – 00:01:32:23
Speaker 2
Yeah. So you’ve maybe pulled your car all the way into your garage, you know, And you’re you haven’t shut the door yet, but you look down and the police officer is saying hello. Hey, can I ask you a few questions? It’s totally human instinct to say, Oh, there’s somebody who’s asking to talk to me, and that person is wearing a uniform and, you know, is looking officially like I’m supposed to be talking to them.

00:01:32:23 – 00:01:40:23
Speaker 2
So it’s very human nature to say, yes, I’ll go toward that police officer and begin talking. But what can happen if you do that?

00:01:41:19 – 00:02:07:11
Speaker 1
Well, there’s a Supreme Court case that this exact same thing happened in. It was laying versus California. And the officer actually had turned on his overhead lights. Lang didn’t see the lights. He pulled into his garage and started to head into his house. And the officer actually followed him up the driveway and into his garage and started asking him a few questions.

00:02:07:28 – 00:02:13:28
Speaker 1
So in that case, he had been drinking and he ultimately got arrested for a DUI.

00:02:14:12 – 00:02:36:21
Speaker 2
Wow. So a DUI arrest. And actually the person was not driving at the time that they got arrested. The police officer put that all together by walking up the driveway and talking to the person. But you’re saying now that this person in this scenario or in this real case that you’re referring to, you never had to talk to the cop at all.

00:02:36:21 – 00:02:37:01
Speaker 2

00:02:37:22 – 00:02:52:00
Speaker 1
Right. I mean, it’s perfectly acceptable when the officer says, hey, can I ask you a few questions or do you mind talking to me? It’s perfectly acceptable to say, you know, I really have to get going and walk into your house under those circumstances.

00:02:52:07 – 00:02:59:18
Speaker 2
And the police officer has no legal right to demand that you talk to them or to continue coming on to your property. Is that what you’re saying?

00:03:00:10 – 00:03:29:01
Speaker 1
Yes. And the United States Supreme Court looked at it and said, you know, if a person is suspected of a misdemeanor, that is an offense thats punishable by less than a year in prison, law enforcement can not come into their house or follow them into their house because it’s back to that castle doctrine where we have an expectation of privacy that follows us into our house.

00:03:29:01 – 00:03:35:25
Speaker 1
And law enforcement’s not allowed to come in after you if they suspect you’ve only committed a misdemeanor.

00:03:36:02 – 00:03:46:20
Speaker 2
Right. Okay. So since the police officer doesn’t have the right to get any answers from you, what is something that you can say to that police officer in that situation?

00:03:46:20 – 00:03:54:03
Speaker 1
You can just let them know, hey, I really have to get going. I don’t have time to talk to you now. Have a good day. And that’s that’s perfectly fine.

00:03:54:03 – 00:04:11:08
Speaker 2
Walk away into your house. Okay. Well, in the event that someone does not necessarily think to do that and and talks to the police officer, I’m sure they can get themselves into possibly some trouble and they might need to call you. So how would they do that?

00:04:12:10 – 00:04:23:12
Speaker 1
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