There are many reasons why a police officer may come to your house.
Several of them might not be under the circumstances you’d expect.
In this list Foreverpolice.com describes the most common reasons a detective or a police officer, would come to your house.
Let’s get started!
- The police are suspecting you of a crime
- The police are suspecting someone else in your household of a crime
- Someone has committed a crime in your neighborhood
- Someone has died
- The detectives have the wrong house
- You have a camera
- Your house is a crime scene
- They want to use your house for a stake out
- You have evidence
- Someone might have asked for a welfare check
- Conclusion on “Why would a detective come to my house?”
Oh… And one more thing! It’s not easy to figure out it’s a detective because you don’t always know what clothing a detective would wear. So always ask them to identify themselves .
This list is closely related to our article answering the question “why would the police call me” as it has many of the same reasons.
The police are suspecting you of a crime
This is the obvious one. You may have done something that is against the law, and the police are investigating you.
You may also not have done anything, and the police wrongly think you have.
If the police suspect you of committing a crime, you should know the rights you have under the U.S. constitution.
Depending on the amount of certainty and the severity of the crime, the police may try to question or arrest you.
The police are suspecting someone else in your household of a crime
Your roommate, partner, parent, sibling, child, etc., is suspected of doing something illegal.
The degree of severity and how much evidence the police have dictates what happens.
If the police arrest someone in your household, you might consider contacting legal counsel on their behalf. Or you should think of notifying people.
You should only do this if you think the arrested person would benefit.
If they are a roommate you barely know, or even someone you can’t stand, there is no need to do anything.
Someone has committed a crime in your neighborhood
Your neighbor might have been arrested for a serious crime.
So the police want to know when you last saw him; check his story/alibi.
Or they hope you have some information about something that has happened in the neighborhood.
If the crime is severe enough, the police might conduct a knock and talk.
Knock and talk:
The police knock on every door in a specific sector around a crime scene. Someone might have some vital information that helps the investigation.
Someone has died
This is probably the most traumatic one.
When someone dies outside of hospitals, nursing homes, or in the military, the police almost always notify the next of kin.
Typical examples are fatal traffic accidents, work-related deaths, murders, and suicides.
The standard procedure is often to have two people deliver the death notification.
Sometimes a religious authority with the same faith as the family comes with the detective/officer.
The detectives have the wrong house
This happens more than you would think.
Road names or numbers on our documents are sometimes incorrect, and we end up at the wrong house.
The misunderstanding always clears itself out relatively fast.
You have a camera
Now people get more packages delivered to their doorstep more often than before.
People with bad intentions have noticed this. And stealing packages at people’s doorsteps has become increasingly common.
So more and more people have installed cameras, especially door cameras, around their houses.
These cameras usually cover the area surrounding the door, the driveway, and the passing road.
Suppose a crime has happened in your area. The footage from your door camera may be precious evidence.
It can lead to identifying a perpetrator or a car; sometimes, it may even show the crime itself.
If you have identifying video footage of a serious crime and hand it over to a detective, they will be thrilled!
Your house is a crime scene
Your roommate murdered someone in the living room and buried them under the house!
Well, it doesn’t have to be this dramatic…
But if a crime has been committed in your house, the house is the scene of the crime.
Visiting a crime scene often gives valuable information to the detectives.
It provides context that isn’t easily obtainable by reading the case files and talking to witnesses.
Sometimes the police even conduct crime reconstructions on the crime scene.
As the name states, this is a forensic activity where they try to reconstruct a specific crime.
Sometimes a crime scene even includes the suspect(s) of the crime.
They want to use your house for a stake out
Do you live close to a «trap house»? Do you have a good view of an area that is crime-ridden?
A detective might come knocking wondering if they can sit by a window in your house and observe the criminal activity.
You have evidence
A friend of mine told me that before he joined the police academy, he had bought an old run-down house.
During the kitchen renovation, he found a bag of cocaine in the air duct behind the kitchen hood.
He called the cops, and a detective showed up:
The detective told him there had been a drug bust in the house and arrested the guy who lived there.
The detectives only found small amounts of drugs.
Before they released the suspect from jail, his house was foreclosed, causing him to lose access to his own house.
The bag of cocaine my friend found had the previous house owner’s DNA on it.
Meaning it was crucial evidence in the narcotics case against the former owner.
When detectives look for evidence in people’s houses, the owner or resident can consent to the search.
If they do not consent, the detective needs to have probable cause to get a search warrant from a judge.
But, the police can search your house without a warrant in these scenarios:
- When something illegal or an illegal activity is visible from the policeman’s plain view.
- When you’re arrested in your home, the police can search for evidence that could be destroyed, accomplices and weapons.
- If there is an emergency, waiting to get a warrant could jeopardize public safety or lead to evidence being lost or destroyed.
Someone might have asked for a welfare check
The police has community caretaker duty. This involves checking up on peoples well-being on request. Read our article to learn more about what a welfare check is.
Conclusion on “Why would a detective come to my house?”
As you see there are several reasons why the police would come to your house.
Most of the times there is nothing to worry about.
Unless you know you’ve broken the law…
In my experience the majority of “visits” the police are not bringing bad news.
I hope this list has helped you finding the answers you seek.
If you have any reasons why a detective might come to your house that’s not yet listed, feel free to write a comment.
Constructive criticism is appreciated!
If you are interested in learning more about how police officers work, check out our article about police ride-alongs.