What to do if the FBI or police contact you for questioning

If you are contacted by the FBI or police, you should be aware of your rights:

  • You have a right to talk to an attorney and generally are not required to answer FBI or police questions (except, e.g., if you are asked for identification while driving a vehicle).
  • You should write down the name, agency and telephone number of any officer who calls or visits you.
  • If an FBI agent or police officer asks to speak to you, tell him or her that you want to consult with an attorney first. If you want to talk to the FBI or police, your attorney can respond on your behalf to set up an interview.
  • ANY information you give to an officer without an attorney, even if it seems harmless, can be used against you or someone else. Lying to a federal officer is a crime. Remaining silent is NOT a crime (except in limited situations when you can be required to identify yourself).
  • You are NOT required to allow the officer into your home without a warrant. Ask to see the warrant. If the officer does not have one, you do not have to let him into your home. However, do not try to stop him if he forces his way into your home or office. Simply state that he does not have your permission to enter.
  • If the officer says that he has a warrant for your arrest, you have a right to see the warrant. You must go with the officer, but you do not have to answer questions until you consult an attorney.
  • If you are detained, you should ask for an attorney and remain silent.

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