do not have to talk to FBI agents, police or other investigators. You do not have
to talk to them in your house, on the street, if you've been arrested or even
in jail. Only a court or grand jury has legal authority to compel testimony.
don't have to let the FBI or police into your house or office unless they show
you an arrest or search warrant which authorizes them to enter that specific place.
- If they do present a warrant, you do not have to tell them anything other
than your name and address. You have a right to observe what they do. Make written
notes, including the agents' names, agency and badge numbers. Try to have other
people present as witnesses and have them make written notes too. [ed. note: by
observing them and writing down everything they touch and do, it helps prevent
them from planting incriminating evidence.]
- Anything you say to an FBI
agent or other law enforcement officer may be used against you or other people.
- Giving the FBI or police information may mean that you will have to testify
to the same information at a trial or before a grand jury.
- Lying to an
FBI agent or other federal investigator is a crime.
- The best advice, if
the FBI or police try to question you or to enter your home or office without
a warrant, is to JUST SAY NO. FBI agents have a job to do and they are highly
skilled at it. Attempting to outwit them is very risky. You can never tell how
a seemingly harmless bit of information can help them hurt you or someone else.
- The FBI or police may threaten you with a grand jury subpoena if you
don't give them information. But you may get one anyway, and anything you've already
told them will be the basis for more detailed questioning under oath.
may try to threaten or intimidate you by pretending to have information about
you: "We know what you have been doing, but if you cooperate it will be all
right." [ed. note: if they had the evidence against you, they wouldn't want
to talk with you, they would just arrest you. However, by talking to them, you
would open yourself up to giving them incriminating information about you or others.]
you are nervous about simply refusing to talk, you may find it easier to tell
them to contact your lawyer. Once a lawyer is involved, the FBI and police usually
pull back since they have lost their power to intimidate.
suggestions are reprinted from the book War at Home: Covert Action Against U.S.
Activists and What We Can Do About It by Brain Glick, published by South End Press,
116 Saint Botolph St., Boston, MA 02115.