View Full Version : Should I talk to the FBI with or without a lawyer - and what could happen?


SusyQ
08-17-2005, 04:41 PM
Hello everyone, help please, I don't know what to do. My child was visited by the FBI today. The agent says there is a case. He advised my child to just be honest and things will go a lot easier on him, probably state charges vs. federal charges. So far we have called 5 lawyers, 3 called back. 1 said cooperate to the fullest extent, the other 2 said don't talk without representation, we are opting for that at this point. I don't know what is best........Anyone out there that can help with your own experiances, please...I'm sorry I can't be more specific but I'm paranoid at this point....

Cinammo
08-17-2005, 04:51 PM
I spoke without representation to criminal investigators that came to my house. I don't know if I would recommend that or not. I was honest about what I did. Then they wrote up a statement for me to sign. That is where you need to be careful in that they do not put something in the statement during a time when you are kinda dumbfounded about what is going on anyway. I really can't give good advice. I'm just passing on my experience. Someone will come along and help you. I know it's a scary time.

bellisq
08-17-2005, 06:28 PM
Hello, and welcome to PTO. You are in a dilemma and it might get worse before it gets better. But i can tell you ABSOLUTELY do not let your son talk to any one from the the government without an a good defense attorney who is experienced in Federal matters. If you are concerned about the quality of the attorney, check out the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys for referrals. I have worked on hundreds of sentencings and the most difficult ones are those where people talked without representation.

If you want to PM me, i can help you find some names or go over who you have already contacted. Don't let them scare you or promise you anything, the only one who can make promises is the US attorney/proseutor in a plea deal or with immunity. Agents will say anything (they have a legal right to lie to you about anything to obtain a statement). The Fifth Amendment is alive and well and your son should exercise it until he gets representation.

Your paranoia will serve you well in this instance. Until a lawyer gets a scope of the situation, you don't know what he is facing. Many lawyers know what is going on in grand juries and what cases are coming up. They communicate with each other in a way you wouldn't be able to. Your son will have lots of opportunites to tell his story, even if he is really in trouble, in a way that will be most beneficial to him. Neither you nor your son should discuss this with anyone, should not talk about it on the phone, your son should stay close to the house, no bars or friends who might have set him up, play everything close to the vest until you have a full grasp of the situation. You have good instincts and hopefully you will get a good attorney.

Good luck to you. Hopefully things will work out in the way you want.

FriscoLady
08-17-2005, 07:00 PM
bellisg has given you some pretty solid advice! Do not talk to the Feds, or state without an attorney at your side! I cannot say that strongly enough!

It is perfectly legal for them to lie to you to get a statement.

I would not give a fed or a cop the time of day without an attorney right there with me!

Good Luck and Stay Strong, we are here for you.

Patti

Homiegirl
08-17-2005, 07:07 PM
I have to agree with Bellisq on this one too. Dont say a word without representation...the Feds have a great way of twisting your words around!!!

Good luck and stay strong, by the way welcome to PTO...we r always here to listen!!

coping
08-17-2005, 10:21 PM
I heard about a guy who was arrested, his home raided, he was told cooperate with us, tell us what you know and we will let you go. They lied to him!! He did what they said without a lawyer, and they used everything he said against him, they found 0 drugs in the raid, and he got 30 years on what he admitted to. Whatever you do, DO NOT TRUST ANYONE except a competent attorney... and you need to check him out,too.

warp1
08-18-2005, 12:19 AM
Hello
I can tell you from personal experience that you should NEVER talk to ANY law enforcement person at ANY time without a lawyer being present. The simple fact is if you talk to them without representation you are doing so WITHOUT the protection of your 5th amendment rights. Remember they are not your friend and they are only there to collect evidence in order to make a case AGAINST you. They do not, nor is it there job to "work things out". They always say "it will be better" if you just talk to us. Yea - better for them in making a case against you. Please always remember to S_T_F_U and get an attorney.
Good Luck - Jim

bluemama
08-18-2005, 12:32 AM
noooooooooooo! don't let him talk to ANY of them. Let a lawyer hear discovery/evidence before one word is said. They don't play fair. They twist the statements, they make up what they don't understand to fill in the blanks - and he'll get threatened with a plea bargain if it turns into a case ('don't waste the taxpayer's money by going to trial or we'll make sure you go to prison for a long time). by the way, just for informational purposes for us : 97.6% of all drug investigations that turn into cases end up as a "plea bargain" instead of a trial.
go figure.
don't let him talk, please!
mary

qwerty
08-18-2005, 01:22 AM
ALWAYS get a lawyer first... if the feds really want cooperation, the lawyer will be able to work out the best deal...

TxRhino
08-18-2005, 06:57 AM
This is a perfect case of using the system to remedy the problem. warp1 is absolutely correct. You are intitled to representation.... use that right. It does not mean you are being uncooperative, just smart. As my wise ole gramps used to say "Never gratuidiously admit fault". They can't use what you don't say against you.

Keep the Faith

Michael :thumbsup:

Cinammo
08-18-2005, 07:31 AM
Now you have the advice you need. If I would have known this at the time it would not have made things different for me but it probably would have for my husband. They probably would not even have involved him. Hopefully all works out for you in the end.

David
08-18-2005, 12:41 PM
Lawyer up... Talk to them at your own peril..

One thing to ALWAYS remember.. DO NOT LIE to them.. The feds love to charge people (and send them to prison) for lying to them. When you are dealing with state cops you can lie all day long but if you lie to a federal agent, they can and often will charge you for it. Ask Martha.

Nothing good can come from talking to them without a lawyer..

April07
08-18-2005, 12:48 PM
To quote our very wise and practiced defense attorney: "Don't even talk to a traffic cop without me there!"

Justice4Alexa
08-18-2005, 12:52 PM
I hope this isnt late. You should never absolutely never talk to law enforcement without an attorney and request that all conversations be taped. Nick claims this is the worst thing he did was speak to police without a lawyer he will now urge anyone even if they are innocent it is never a good idea to speak to law enforcement officers behind closed doors without a witness period!!! Good luck to you. Love ya angie

Hello everyone, help please, I don't know what to do. My child was visited by the FBI today. The agent says there is a case. He advised my child to just be honest and things will go a lot easier on him, probably state charges vs. federal charges. So far we have called 5 lawyers, 3 called back. 1 said cooperate to the fullest extent, the other 2 said don't talk without representation, we are opting for that at this point. I don't know what is best........Anyone out there that can help with your own experiances, please...I'm sorry I can't be more specific but I'm paranoid at this point....

Sheridan Grad
08-18-2005, 01:10 PM
I can tell you from my experience that you always need an experienced criminal defense attorney during all conversations. I was proactive in my communication with the government not realizing I was part of the conspiracy and brought a civil lawyer to a meeting. They chewed him up and spent the next 55 months investigating me- always tape conversations and always have a lawyer.

SamSam
08-18-2005, 03:21 PM
It wont be held against you. However, everything they find out while you are helping them will be.

jen_n_beau
08-18-2005, 04:26 PM
You have been given some very good advice here. Also, don't let them scare you into talking without a lawyer. When the police came to my house with an investigator and arrested me. The investigator tried asking me questions and I nicely told him I couldn't speak to him until my attorney was present. I was shocked when that man told me "fine, don't talk to me, you can go to prison". At that point I told him to f*** off. It probably wasn't the smartest thing to say :) but I was not going to let that man try to scare me into talking.

bluemango
08-18-2005, 09:37 PM
When dealing with the feds YOU MUST have a lawyer. Do not speak with them unless you have proper representation. Remember - they can lie to you without consequence, but DO NOT lie to them, they will figure it out & there will be more trouble on your end.

Good Luck.

islandsunset
08-19-2005, 10:02 AM
MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD HAS BOTH YOU AND LEGAL REPRESENTATION PRESENT FOR ALL QUESTIONING!! And be very cooperative! My cousin did not seek representation and didn't cooperate 100% when the FBI contacted several teens in our community. He is the ONLY one now serving time, although the guilty parties admited after thier lawyers got them granted immunity! Cooperate and seek legal representation NOW!

David
08-20-2005, 06:47 PM
To quote our very wise and practiced defense attorney: "Don't even talk to a traffic cop without me there!"

I wish I had the money to have a lawyer like this... ;)

dougee
08-21-2005, 06:16 AM
Bellisq is absolutely right. Get the best attorney you can even if you intend to cooperate. If you cooperate, you should be rewarded by the prosecutor, and a good attorney is the only way to make sure that happens. Whatever you do, do not lie to them. That will only make things worse. Good luck to you.

dizzulsgirl
08-21-2005, 11:07 AM
Ah yes, the oh too familiar "if you tell us what you know it will make it easier on you". Well I hate to admit it, but I talked to them without a lawyer and I got pulled into "conspiracy". Mind you I didn't do any jail time (got home confinement and 3 years probation), but had I not been scared and ignorant I wouldn't have been involved at all.
DO NO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TALK TO THE FEDS WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY

SusyQ
08-27-2005, 07:42 PM
Thanks everyone that replied to this. You all made it really clear and we have representation. The lawyer told them "Don't contact my client or the family, talk to me first." So far they have backed off, I don't anticipate any further contact. Thanks for being there with good advice when I was scared and clueless. God bless us all.......

bellisq
08-27-2005, 09:02 PM
That's great news!! thanks for coming back and telling us...We at the Federal Forum definitely pulled together on your dilemma. Glad your son avoided the dragnet and he is lucky to have a such a smart mama.

FriscoLady
08-28-2005, 06:16 PM
Thanks everyone that replied to this. You all made it really clear and we have representation. The lawyer told them "Don't contact my client or the family, talk to me first." So far they have backed off, I don't anticipate any further contact. Thanks for being there with good advice when I was scared and clueless. God bless us all.......

Every once in a while someone says something, that makes me realize why I relive our nightmare over and over, so others do not have to do this alone.

SusyQ - Thank You for that reminder and to the person and her family that helped Linda and I through our nightmare and said once:

"Life goes on, but the past is never forgotten. To those that helped us, we remember, and are passing it on."

We are passing it on.

Patti

manchester03
08-28-2005, 10:47 PM
its somewhat similar to being pulled over for speeding and having the cop ask if he can search your car, always say NO!