Communicating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation: Should you cooperate?

| May 12, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

There are times when the Federal Bureau of Investigation may start to investigate people in your area or even you yourself. Usually, the FBI is pretty straightforward and may ask you if they could interview you. You may not know what the interview is about, but if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, then you may not see a problem with speaking with the agents.

Stop before you do that and place a call to your attorney. You shouldn’t talk to the FBI or any law enforcement agent without understanding your rights and what questions you do or do not have to answer.

Why would the FBI be investigating a case?

The FBI investigates federal cases of certain types, such as acts of terrorism, rioting or sabotage. They also investigate counterfeiting, human trafficking, mail fraud and other serious federal crimes. Many of the crimes they investigate are considered to be crimes against the government.

Since these crimes are usually federal offenses, they tend to come with felony charges and a high risk of long prison sentencing. High fines are also a possibility if you’re convicted. This is why you don’t want to talk to the FBI on your own.

Why shouldn’t you speak with the FBI without your attorney?

If you talk to the FBI willingly and without your attorney, you are putting yourself in a dangerous position. You may say or do something that makes you look like you are involved in a crime that you actually know nothing about. You could hurt your case if you do have something to do with an alleged crime, too.

Appearing to cooperate with the FBI may be something you feel is necessary, but you have to be thoughtful about how you approach this situation. Contacting your attorney before speaking with the FBI doesn’t show that you’re guilty or that you are trying to hide something. It just shows that you’re smart and know your rights. You are showing the FBI that you won’t be interviewed for anything you don’t need to be interviewed for and will only answer reasonable questions that you must in accordance with the laws of the country.

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