The FBI and Fifth Amendment Rights

 Posted on July 09, 2018 in Criminal Defense

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois criminal lawyer,If the FBI comes knocking on your door, are you required to speak to them? It is rarely advisable for you to speak with the FBI or police without an attorney present. As a criminal defense law firm, we see too often situations arise where someone attempts to speak to police and ends up damaging his or her own case.

You may think that you are helping clear something up or that you have nothing to hide, so why wouldn’t you speak to the police. However, suspects or witnesses never know the amount of information the FBI has or the direction of the case.

It is your right in the United State Constitution to remain silent and to have a lawyer. Using those rights does not mean you are guilty nor does it make you look guilty in the eyes of a judge or jury.

What If They Have a Warrant?

There are two types of warrants: search warrants and arrest warrants. Search warrants allow the FBI to search a specific area, such as your home, business or car because a judge believes there is probable cause to think that these areas contain evidence of criminal activity. Arrest warrants allow the FBI to arrest you because there is probable cause to believe that you committed a crime.

Neither an arrest warrant nor a search warrant means that you have to speak to anyone. In fact, in cases where there is a warrant, most defense attorneys would say that it is even more important that you speak to a lawyer before speaking with the FBI.

Invoking Your Fifth Amendment Right

At any time during your interaction with the FBI or police, you can request a lawyer. It does not matter if you have previously hired a lawyer or if you can afford a lawyer. So long as you clearly request that you be given access to a lawyer, the FBI or police must stop questioning you.

Contact a Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are being contacted by the FBI, police, or other investigating organization, you do not have to speak with them. It is advisable at this point to speak with an attorney. An attorney can assess the situation and counsel you on how you should proceed.

An attorney can also be present when you speak to the FBI to make sure that your rights are safeguarded and that the government is following the law. In these situations, you will want a trustworthy and seasoned attorney on your side.

To meet with our experienced Chicago, IL criminal defense lawyer, dial 312-629-0669 to schedule your first meeting today.



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