What is an appropriate response to address verification visits for registrants? Here are the bare facts:
- There is NOTHING in Maryland law that requires counties to do ANY address verifications.
- EVERY Maryland county does address verifications, because it is an excellent public relations tool.
- Unless officers have a WARRANT (or if your P&P officer is present) they have no right to enter your home.
If you are STILL UNDER SUPERVISION (probation or parole)
- Your life is still not your own. Always remember that.
- Your supervising officer can enter your home at any time for any reason. He/she can bring additional officers at will.
Here are some suggestions for “just” registrants (completed P&P):
- Do not be RUDE to law enforcement – EVER. Be firm but polite.
- ONLY give out information that is required by law.
- You also have a right to give this information ONLY at your next scheduled registration visit.
For anyone facing an officer doing an address check:
- DON’T PANIC. Keep your wits about you, and stay as calm as possible.
- Request to see a badge or other ID. Take the time to write down the officer’s name.
- Record the entire exchange – in writing immediately afterward, on an audiocassette or your cell phone, or on a security camera.
- Understand that if you choose to assert your rights – even with plainclothes officers who are “just checking your address” – this can and often will result in increased pressure on you. Be prepared for this, and have a lawyer you can call.