If You Are Contacted By Federal Agents
- If a federal agent comes to your house, place of residence, or to your workplace, you do not have to answer any questions. Your rights do not differ whether the law enforcement officials are employed by a city, the state, or by the federal government.
- If a federal agent indicates they do not intend to make an arrest, convey to them in no uncertain terms that you want to speak to a lawyer first and do not want to answer any questions asked of you without legal counsel present.
- If you are asked to come to meet with someone employed as a federal agent for an interview or for questioning, you have the right to say you do not wish to be interviewed or questioned.
- If you do happen to agree to such an interview, one should ABSOLUTELY have an attorney present during all questioning and during the entirety of the interview. If this situation occurs, and one becomes uncomfortable or starts to feel uneasy about answering questions, you can state how you only wish and will give answers to questions on a specific topic.
If You Feel Your Rights Have Been Violated
- It is important to note that police misconduct or anything inappropriate you feel was done when the arrest is being made SHOULD not be challenged or contested on the street. Be docile and compliant. You can make a formal complaint later. Doing anything otherwise will only likely escalate the matter more, and could lead to additional criminal charges being filed against you (even if unwarranted).
- DO NOT EVER physically attempt to resist, in any form or fashion, the police officers when they are making the arrest, and resist the urge to verbally tell them if you re upset to threaten them by informing them of your intention to file formal a complaint.
- After the arrest, be sure to try and write down everything you can recall and remember, including the officers’ badge numbers, each number associated with all patrol car dispatched, make certain you which agency the officers worked for, and any other relevant details you think are appropriate for further consideration.
- If available, try and obtain any possible contact information for witnesses who may have observed the incident and could provide further insight on the incident, and any other details which may be relevant.
- If you were physically injured during the arrest, as soon as possible take pictures/photographs of the injuries and also seek proper medical attention if needed (and if you do seek medical treatment, make sure to try and compile all relevant medical documentation).
- File a formal written complaint with the agency that made the arrest who you believe acted inappropriately and exceeded their scope of authority. Such complaints are usually filed with the specific internal affairs division or civilian board of the agency. Most agencies allow for one to file the complaint anonymously if that is preferred.
Advice For Non-Citizens
- Request the advice and counsel of your attorney about any and all possible ramifications or effects a criminal conviction or plea may have on your immigration status.
- Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone without the presence of your attorney to advise you on how to properly answer questions.
- During your incarceration in jail, immigration (ICE) agent may attempt to come and visit with you. Do not answer questions in the event this happens, and absolutely do not sign any paperwork before speaking with and upon the advice of your attorney. or sign anything before talking to a lawyer.
- Thoroughly read and review all paperwork and documents fully and try to understand the entirety of the contents. If you do not understand or cannot read the papers for whatever reason that may exist, make a formal request for an interpreter to help make sure everything is fully understood.
(ICE) If Law Enforcement Agents Come To Your Home
If the police or federal immigration (ICE) agents come to your home, you do not have to let them inside unless they have a valid search warrant for the premises. Unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
- The law enforcement agents under the “knock and announce” rule should attempt to knock on the door first and notify the person of who they are and how their intent is to execute a search warrant. If possible, request they slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it to see it if is indeed valid. Once inside, still request to examine the contents of the search warrant to make sure they do not exceed the scope of the search it allows, and also verify that it indeed lists the proper address for the search is to take place. When conducting the search, officers cannot exceed the scope listed in the search warrant, and should only be allowed to search the areas for the items specifically listed.
- If law enforcement agents are there to execute an arrest warrant (and not a search warrant), this would only allow the police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. However, if a person has reason to believe the arrest warrant is valid and the person is inside, it is advisable to step outside of the house, closing the door behind you. Otherwise, if they are allowed to enter into the residence and they possibly see something suspicious, it could possibly warrant further unwanted intrusions and searches.
- A warrant of removal or deportation (pursuant to an ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.
- Even if officers have a valid search or an arrest warrant, you always have the absolute right to remain silent and to not answer any questions asked of you. Should you choose to speak to the police officers (and they are there without a warrant), it is advisable to step outside where they are and close the door behind you so they cannot see inside.
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