Should I Answer Questions From the FBI? Has a Bad Situation Upended Your Life? Don't Face it Alone. 

Should I Answer Questions From the FBI?

I’m frequently asked by clients whether they should answer questions from the FBI local detectives or any other police agency.

The simple answer to that question is absolutely, positively, hell no! While it’s a crime to lie to the FBI, that doesn’t mean that you have to talk to them. You should never talk to the FBI without your lawyer present.

If the FBI contacts you, and wants you to answer questions, you should say “I invoke my right to counsel. I won’t answer any questions without my lawyer present and I wish to remain silent.” Then pick up the phone and call.

Real life examples:

Doing it wrong

Agent Smith: Hi, I am special agent Angelica Smith with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and this is my colleague special agent Christina Moore. Are you Mr. Adams?

Adams: Yes I am. How are you doing tonight. It isn’t everyday I meet agents from the FBI. Wow! Am I in trouble or something? Haha. (*Talking to much already)

Agent Smith: Nothing to worry about. You’re not in any trouble but we could use your help. We have a few questions about a friend. Do you mind we come in for a minute?

Adams: Not at all. I was just making tea. Make yourselves comfortable.

Agent Smith: Thanks. What a nice place you’ve got here. What is that a 65″ flatscreen? Nice.

Adams: Thanks, so, eh, what is this all about?

Agent Smith: Do you know someone named Tom Beverly?

Adams: Yes, he runs the non-profit that I donate to every year. He’s a wonderful guy.

Agent Smith: Look, I am not here to hurt you. Just be honest and tell me that you knew that occassionally he was skimming some of the money to fund his lavish lifestyle.

Adams: Err, ok, yeah I guess.

Agent Smith: And were you aware that he was using the funds from his non-profit to fund terrorism and organized crime?

Adams: Wait, what? (Sound of handcuffs)

Agent Smith: You’re under arrest.

How this should have gone:

Doing it right

Agent Smith: Hi, I am special agent Angelica Smith with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and this is my colleague special agent Christina Moore. Are you Mr. Adams?

Adams: That’s me. What’s up?

Agent Smith: Nothing to worry about. You’re not in any trouble but we could use your help. We have a few questions about a friend. Do you mind we come in for a minute?

Adams: Respectfully, I do mind. My lawyer would kill me if I ever answered questions from law enforcement without him present. Here is his card.

Agent Smith: Oh we don’t need to make this formal. It’s just a conversation. I’m on your side. Let’s do this the easy way.

Adams: I have clearly stated that want my lawyer present, please repect that. I have said that clearly. Am I free to leave? (Pause) I’m going inside now. Please call my lawyer. Good day.

Agent Smith: Ok. Here’s my card.

Adams: Thank you. Have a nice day.

Categories

Common Questions



  • National Geographic
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Berkeley Law
  • Duke Law
  • Lawyerist
  • Lawyernomics
  • Cision
  • Best of SF Winner
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • 2020 Northern California Rising Stars Super Lawyer Award
  • 2019 Northern California Rising Stars Super Lawyer Award
  • 2018 Northern California Rising Stars Super Lawyer Award
  • 2017 Northern California Rising Stars Super Lawyer Award
  • Elite Lawyer for 2020

Each Year, We Protect Hundreds of Clients' Futures

Explore Our Practice Areas & See How We Can Help You

More Than 150 5-Star Reviews

See What Our Clients Are Saying About Us
    Best DUI lawyers in Los Angeles.

    “I love Jason. He helped me figure out what to do in a difficult situation. He’s the best with a cherry on top. Seriously, these guys rock.”

    - Staci M.
    The best DUI attorney in San Francisco!

    “Jason has more trial experience than anyone I have ever met and has more experience than anybody in the courthouse and seems to know everyone there. My outcome was incredibly positive! I couldn't ask for a better attorney.”

    - Subhi B.
    Super impressed with Jason's team and wholeheartedly recommend his firm.

    “Very, very easy to work with, and a seamless experience on a routine traffic violation. All electronic, easy communication, and consistent updates during the process.”

    - Mike G.
    Definitely hire Jason.

    “All charges were dropped. And the process was simple. I didn’t have to file paperwork, go to the courthouse, or deal with anything. Jason and his staff managed the whole affair. I’m so grateful!”

    - Rebecca B.
    Best decision I have ever made!

    “Jason helped me with my case in a professional and proficient manner. I will definitely come to Jason in the future for any upcoming issues I may have.”

    - Sara P.
/

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Personal Representation

    You work directly with your attorney every step of the way.

  • Virtual Services

    We utilize technology so you don't need to come into the office and in most cases, court.

  • Connected to the Local Community

    We have built close professional relationships with local judges and district attorneys and are deeply involved in the community.

  • Quick Response

    We get great results, and we get them fast!

Has a Bad Situation Upended Your Life?

Don’t Face it Alone.
/

How Can We Help You?

You can contact us using this form day or night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You will hear back from one of our attorneys the same day or next day.
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.