The FBI has Questioned me; do I need an attorney?
If the Federal Bureau of Investigations has already questioned you, you may. The answer to this question lay in whether the FBI has reason to suspect you in the commission of a crime.
There could be a few reasons the FBI wanted to ask you some questions. These include:
- General information – If you happened to be near to where a crime was committed, you may have some general, linking information which will help in their investigation. You may have nothing to do with the crime and are not even considered a suspect. But investigators often question everyone who may know anything.
- Specific Information – Investigators may have uncovered your name in connection with a crime. They may not suspect you of anything, but may believe you have information useful to their investigation. You may be aware of this knowledge or not.
- You Are a Suspect – Legally, investigators have an obligation to inform you that you are a suspect. However, this does not always happen, as attested by the numerous Supreme Court challenges along these lines.
Of course, aside from the reasons a person may be questioned by the FBI, there are situations in which a person may find themselves getting questioned.
Some Situations/Examples in Which You May Find Yourself Questioned by the FBI
The United States is a society ordered by law. Thus, on a societal level, we encourage each citizen to cooperate with law enforcement for the apprehension of violators, especially of serious crimes. At the same time, we understand that the Miranda warning was developed for a reason: To prevent overzealous law enforcement from violating your fundamental civil rights.
In order to better help you understand why and when to speak to FBI agents, consider the following examples. These are common situations in which one is likely to be questioned by Federal investigators.
- Hostage in a Bank Heist – The FBI will be involved in the situation and as a hostage, you are not likely to be a suspect. If questioned, cooperation will aid in the capture of the suspects.
- Work in an Office where someone has Embezzled Government property – You may not even know the person investigators seek, but if you are certain you were in no way involved, you likely have nothing to be concerned about. However, if there is any doubt, you can always refuse to answer questions. More about this choice shortly.
- Were Involved in a Federal crime – If you were involved in a Federal crime, there may be little wonder why the FBI is paying a visit. Be quiet and get in touch with an attorney right away.
There could be plenty of reasons federal investigators may want to speak to someone about a crime. However, if there is any possible way you could be connected or if you are uneasy answering questions, what can you do?
What Are Your Rights if Questioned? Must You Answer Questions by the FBI?
If ever stopped by law enforcement, including the FBI, there are a couple of possible things which could happen.
- If you are suspected of a crime, you will likely be detained. If questioned, it would be best to politely refuse. You may even request an attorney at this point.
- If not detained or suspected of a crime, the FBI will likely inform you of this so as to get the information needed. However, if there was any chance of even the slightest involvement, answering questions could make you a suspect.
- You can politely ask, “Am I being detained?” If the answer is, “No,” you have every right to walk away and resume your day. If you are then detained, clearly authorities were lying. Be silent and call us.
Whether you answer questions or not is up to you. Know this, however. Even if entirely innocent of any crime, a refusal is likely to cause investigators to press harder. If there is any connection between you and the crime, they will find it. So in some situations, the question of answering questions posed by the FBI is a bit of a rock and hard place scenario. This is why you need an expert at your side.
Is there a Reason You Would Need an Attorney?
If there is a reason you would need an attorney, by all means kindly refuse to answer questions put to you by federal investigators. If not detained, call Robert J Callahan & Associates Criminal Defense Law Firm right away. If detained, tell authorities to call us.
We can determine whether there is any reason for you to be concerned without implicating you in any wrongdoing. If you are more of a witness to the crime, we can help protect you from potential prosecution before it happens.
So do not wait if you suspect that the FBI is looking at you for a Federal crime. Call now.
312-322-9000 24 Hours