Dealing with Law Enforcement at Your Door

Author: Sir Bamm!

Hopefully the time will never come that this happens to you: You?re in the middle of a play party, your guests are in various states of undress, your friends are beating and being beaten and there?s a knock on the door. You go to the door and open it and see two police officers standing on the other side of the door and asking you if there?s a problem.

Oh! No! What do I do?

This scenario is not very common in our circles, but on the occasion that it does happen, would you be prepared?

There are numerous things that you can do to cut down on the chances of being prosecuted for your participation in an SM event that you sponsor. Although there is very little you can do about your chances of being persecuted, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, along with various law enforcement jurisdictions have put together ideas that can help keep you out of jail.

One of the things that you can do is to make a call to the police dispatcher before the party. Tell the dispatcher that you are having some friends over and give them your name and phone number and street number. Let them know that you will do your best to make sure that there is no noise or parking problems, but if there is a complaint, that they can call you and you would be happy to take care of the matter, rather than sending a sector car out to the location. Most times the dispatchers will pass that information on and you won't hear a thing.

However, if a nosey neighbor does complain and an officer shows up at your door, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. Noticeable anxiety may give officers the probable cause they need to enter your home.

Be respectful, polite and courteous to the police officers. A bad attitude just makes them want to hassle you more. And use common sense.

The first thing to do is walk outside and talk with the officers outside the house, closing the door behind you. You have the right not to talk to them and the right not to incriminate yourself, but if you choose to talk with the police, do not lie. Be honest and use simple, easy to understand language. Do not try to amaze them with how much you know about the differences between SM and abuse.

If the officer seems intent on entering, offer to let him speak with your partner. Make sure she uses the word "consent".

If the officer demands entry, state your objection and stand out of the way. If you are arrested, ask for an attorney, immediately and do not make any statements. Police officers like to get you to say anything, so that later on or at trial they can show any inaccuracies as proof of a guilty conscience.

Most of the above information comes from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom Law Enforcement Outreach Program wallet card, 'Dealing with Law Enforcement: Pocket Reference' and is available at all SAADE functions.
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