When a federal agent contacts you, you may not be facing any charges, but it is still important to know what to do.
Whether the FBI wants to ask you questions over the phone or at your door, you need to know your legal rights.
Remain calm and listen
It is surprising when an FBI agent visits your workplace or home. It is essential to stay calm and speak politely, as you do not know why they want to talk to you. Listen to what they say with a cooperative demeanor. However, a polite attitude does not mean you need to give them any information.
Do not answer any questions
It is crucial to know that you do not have to answer any questions. Although you may want to cooperate with federal investigators, it is best to get professional legal advice before you do so. Staying silent is not a crime. You have the legal right not to speak.
Ask for contact information
Tell the agent that you wish to speak with a lawyer before responding. Confirm the officer’s identity by asking for credentials. Write down the person’s name, telephone number and agency. Your attorney can set up an interview with the agent later if necessary.
Ask to see a search warrant
If an officer wants to come inside your house, ask to see a warrant. If the agent does not have one, you do not have to let them into your home. Tell the investigating officers they do not have permission to enter.
Federal agents have the right to knock on your door at any time, but you do not have to speak with them right away. Protect your rights by getting legal advice.