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

The FBI and other agencies have been questioning people across the country based, it appears, on their First Amendment activity, or on their race, ethnicity or national origin. If the FBI or police contact you for questioning, you should be aware of your rights.

  • You are NOT required to answer any questions and you have the right to consult with an attorney. You should write down the name, agency and telephone number of the person 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.
  • 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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