The last thing you expected when you got up this morning was to find agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at your doorstep — but there they are. Now, they’d like to come inside and talk with you about something. It’s downright scary, and the agents certainly make you feel intimidated.
How do you handle this? To best protect your future, it’s prudent to remember the following:
- You do not have to let an FBI agent through your door unless they have a warrant.
- If they tell you that there is a warrant out for your arrest, you have a right to see it.
- Even if they have a warrant allowing them to search your home or you are arrested, you do not have to answer any questions.
- Lying to a federal investigator is a crime — and you can be convicted for doing so even if all the other charges against you amount to nothing.
- You do not have to be given a Miranda Warning if you are not both being detained by the authorities and interrogated by them. Anything you say can be used against you later in a criminal proceeding.
Silence is never a crime. It’s your best tactic when dealing with federal agents because what you don’t say can never hurt you later in court.
If you have reason to think that the FBI is interested in your actions, don’t talk to agents without your lawyer present — even if you believe you did nothing wrong. There are numerous traps for the unwary in the federal criminal system. Get experienced legal assistance right away to help protect your rights and your reputation.