They will generally knock and say “property management” or “U.S Mail” “, but when you open the door you may find that it is really 2 or 3 police officers trying to talk their way into your living room. A routine practice of law enforcement in Nashville, Tennessee this practice is called the “knock and talk” technique.
Officers use this technique where they lack the probable cause necessary to obtain a warrant to search a residence, but when they have some suspicion that a person may possess illegal drugs or weapons in their home.
Once the resident opens the door, the police may try to pressure the resident into consenting to a search of their home or could go as far as to claim to smell an odor of an illegal drug as a basis to get a search warrant.
“Knock and talks” have been upheld as a lawful police technique in many cases; however, in State v. Blackwell, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals found such technique to be unlawful where the police ignored “no trespassing” signs at the entrance to the property and continued to the person’s front door to attempt a “knock and talk.”
If someone knocks at your door, you don’t have to answer it. If you do and you find yourself charged with a criminal offense, contact a criminal defense attorney that understands your rights.