POLICE PRACTICES: If You are Contacted by the FBI or Police for Questioning - a "Know Your Rights" pamphlet circulated by The ACLU of Rhode Island.

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'POLICE PRACTICES: If You are Contacted by the FBI or Police for Questioning' Pamphlet

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What to do if You are Contacted by the FBI or Police for Questioning

The FBI and other agencies have been questioning people across the country based, it appears, on their First Amendment activity, or race, ethnicity or national origin. If the FBI or police contact you for questioning, you should be aware of YOUR rights:

• You are NOT required to answer any questions and you have the right to consult with an attorney. You should write down the name, agency, and telephone number of the person who calls or visits you.

• You may also be entitled to an interpreter if you need one for communication purposes.

• If an FBI agent or police officer asks to speak to you, tell them that you want to consult with an attorney first. If you want to talk to the FBI or police, your attorney can respond on your behalf to set up an interview.

• ANY information you give to an officer without an attorney, even if it seems harmless, can be used against you or someone else. Lying to a federal officer is a crime. Remaining silent is NOT a crime.

• You do NOT have to let a police officer into your home without a warrant. Ask to see the warrant. If the officer does not have one, you do not have to let them into your home. However, do not stop him or her if they force their way into your home or office. Simply state that they do not have permission to enter.

• If the officer says that he has a warrant for your arrest, you have the right to see the warrant. You must go with the officer, but you do not have to answer questions until you consult an attorney.

• If you are detained, you should indicate you want to talk to an attorney and remain silent. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should request that one be appointed to you.

• If the FBI or other police agency asks you to become an informant, it would be wise for you to talk to an attorney first. If you agree to become an informant, the FBI maintains it does not have to keep any promises made in exchange for your cooperation.

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