Being contacted by the FBI or having the officers appear at your doorstep can be nerve-wracking. Even if you have not done anything wrong, you may say something you do not mean. If the FBI has contacted you, it is essential to be very careful about the steps you take. You must think twice before speaking to them and answering their questions.
If you do not wish to speak to them, you can clearly state that you refuse to answer their questions until you get in touch with an attorney. In fact, this is what attorneys at Rubinstein Law Firm will suggest you do. The officers may repeatedly ask you questions, but you can make polite refusals as many times as you want. It is within your right to ask for an attorney first.
Steps to take if you have been contacted by the FBI in NJ
- Contact a lawyer with experience.
Contacting a lawyer with qualifications and experience in working with high-level white-collar federal matters is extremely important in this regard. Hiring a regular criminal lawyer won’t be much help. Federal and state cases can be very different with varying laws. You need an attorney who can confidently protect you in these situations and not someone who is dealing with a case like yours for the first time.
- Tell the FBI about your lawyer.
When the FBI first approaches you, they may ask for permission to look around your house (or search your house) and ask you questions about the crime they are investigating. In this situation, remember that you have the right to refuse to answer their questions. Tell them you have an attorney and wish to speak to them before taking the next step.
If the officers return with a search warrant, you may not have any choice but to allow them inside your house. However, call your attorney as soon as possible and pay attention to the search.
- Do not share more information than you are asked.
While providing information that you think may help the FBI may sound like a responsible job that may earn you their trust, the reality is far different. You should avoid voluntarily giving out information to the FBI, at least not unless you speak to your attorney. Your legal counsel can help you make an informed decision on what to share and what to not.
Remember that you are under no legal obligation to answer their questions or let them search your house unless they have a warrant.