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revree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-03 03:52 PM
Original message
Great Info for anyone contacted by FBI or worse
Below is an excerpt from the National Lawyers Guild pamphlet,
"KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!" the whole document can be found
at in many

 What if the police or FBI contact me?

What if agents come to question me?

arrested for refusing to identify yourself on the street,
although this may make the police suspicious, and police and
other agents do not always follow the law. If you are driving
a vehicle, you must show your license and registration.
Otherwise, you do not have to talk to anyone: on the street,
at your home or office, if you've been arrested, or even if
you're in jail. Only a judge has the legal authority to order
you to answer questions.

Do I need a lawyer?

LAWYER. Once you say this, they should stop trying to question
you and should make any further contact through your lawyer.
You have the right to say that you want to talk to a lawyer
even if you do not already have one. Remember to get the name,
agency, and telephone number of any investigator who calls or
visits you, and call the NLG, or a criminal or immigration
lawyer, before deciding whether to answer questions. If you do
agree to be interviewed, you have the right to have a lawyer
present. The government does not have to provide you with a
free lawyer unless you are charged with a crime, but the NLG
or another organization may be able to find you a lawyer for
free or a reduced rate.

If I refuse to answer questions or if I say I want a lawyer,
won't it seem like I have something to hide?

never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information might
be used to hurt you or someone else. That is why the right not
to talk is a fundamental right under our Constitution. The FBI
is not just trying to find terrorists, but is gathering
information on immigrants and activists who have done nothing
wrong. And keep in mind that even though they are allowed to
and do lie to you, lying to a federal agent is a crime. The
safest things to say are "I am going to remain
silent", "I want to speak to my lawyer", and
"I do not consent to a search."

Can agents search my home, apartment or office?

However, your roommate or guest can legally consent to a
search of your house if the police believe that person has the
authority to give consent and your employer can consent to a
search of your office. Do not try to physically interfere with
the police or agents, even if the search is illegal, or you
will likely be arrested. Say "I do not consent to a
search." Do not answer any questions. Call the NLG or a
criminal lawyer.

If agents come to arrest me in my home, can they search my

They can search the area near where you are arrested but not
your entire house, unless they have a search warrant.

What if I am not at home?

Under the new "USA Patriot Act", under certain
circumstances agents may surreptitiously search and not notify
you until afterward, perhaps a long time afterward. It is
uncertain whether this provision will stand up in light of the
Fourth Amendment. If you suspect your home or office has been
searched or that you are being surveilled, contact the NLG or
a criminal lawyer.

What if they do have a search warrant?

DEMAND TO SEE THE WARRANT. The warrant must tell in detail the
places to be searched and the people or things to be seized.
If the police have a warrant, you cannot stop them from
entering and searching, but you should still tell them that
you do not consent to a search. This will limit them to search
only where the warrant authorizes. Ask if you are allowed to
watch the search and if so, watch and take notes including
names, badge numbers, and what agency the officers are from.
Have friends act as witnesses. Give this information to your
lawyer. If the officers ask you to give them documents, your
computer, or anything else, look to see if the item is listed
in the warrant. If it is not, do not consent to them taking it
without talking to a lawyer. Even if they have a search
warrant, you still do not have to answer any questions. Call
the NLG for help getting a criminal lawyer.

What if the police stop me on the street?

ASK IF YOU ARE FREE TO GO. If they say yes, walk away. If you
are not free to go, you are being detained, but this does not
necessarily mean you will be arrested. They are entitled to
frisk you. A frisk is a pat down on the outside of your
clothing. Do not consent to any further search. But if they
continue, or in some other way violate your rights, stay calm
and don't physically resist police or agents. You will only be
hurt and arrested. Stick to "I don't consent, I want to
speak to my lawyer"; get the officer's name, badge
number, and agency; and call a lawyer or the NLG at your first
opportunity. You do not have to answer questions or give a
statement if you are detained or even if you are arrested.

Do I have to give my name?

Legally, you do not have to give your name unless they suspect
you of a crime, but refusing to give your name is likely to
arouse suspicion. Be aware that police/ agents may be carrying
a list of deportable aliens. Giving a false name could be a
crime. If you are driving a car, you must show them your
license, registration and proof of insurance, but you do not
have to consent to a search, although the police may have
legal grounds to search your car anyway.

What if the police or FBI threaten me with a grand jury
subpoena if I refuse to talk?

A grand jury subpoena is a written order for you to go to
court and testify about information you may have. It is common
for the FBI to threaten you with a subpoena to get you to talk
to them. Don't be intimidated. This is frequently an empty
threat, and if they are going to subpoena you, they will do so
anyway. Receiving a subpoena to testify before a grand jury
doesn't mean that you are suspected of a crime. And you may
have legal grounds to stop the subpoena or to refuse to answer
questions before the grand jury. If you do receive a subpoena,
call the NLG or a criminal lawyer right away.

What if I am treated badly by the police or FBI?

Try to remember the officer's badge number and/or name. You
have the right to ask the officer to identify himself. Write
down everything as soon as you can and try to find witnesses.
If you are injured, see a doctor and take pictures of the
injuries as soon as possible. Call the NLG or one of the other
organizations listed on the front as soon as possible.

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DuctapeFatwa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-03 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks, but that information is obsolete

The US is now a country where anyone, anytime, can be declared an Enemy of the State for any or no reason, and detained incomunicado indefinitely or until death, whichever comes first, without charges, access to counsel or any legal rights, protection or redress.

Better advice is to watch what you say, watch what you do, keep your head down and your mouth closed, and stay the hell away from any and all regime gunmen.
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Caution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-04-03 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. Other things to be aware of.
Edited on Mon Aug-04-03 04:09 PM by Caution
Try not to be nervous. Part of the mystique of the FBI, the DEA, the Secret Service, etc is only what we see from movies. These are human beings but we have been conditioned to be intimidated by them. Before you do or say ANYTHING, try to compose yourself internally, gather your wits and remember you are under no obligation to speak to them under ANY circumstances. If they show up you WILL be surprised and you WILL be nervous. You should immediately tell them you want a lawyer present, this will put an immediate stop to any type of interrogation. Remember these are frightening times and I personally don't trust the government as far as I can throw them so no matter how innocent the questioning might be you are not obligated to answer anything at all. Can't hurt to have a lawyer present for your own protection. Remember, these people work for you (Government of the people, *BY* the people).

If for some reason you are worried you may have done something illegal and some federal agent is there to question you about it, keep in mind that no investigative member of the Justice Department can offer you a deal. They can bargain on your behalf with a prosecuting attorney at their own discretion but that's it. The prosecuting attorney does NOT have to abide by any deal you may think you have made with a federal agent. They will say "If you cooperate things will be easier." This is true. It'll be easier for THEM. You can cooperate just as much at a later date with a lawyer present and with the person actually empowered to make a deal, the prosecuting attorney.
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