Police Tactics and Your Legal Rights

Just say No to the FBI, RCMP and the Police

1. YOU DON'T HAVE TO TALK TO FBI AGENTS, RCMP, POLICE OR INVESTIGATORS. You do not have to talk to them on the street, it you've been arrested, or even if you're in jail.

2. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LET THE FBI, RCMP OR POLICE INTO YOUR HOME OR OFFICE UNLESS THEY HAVE A SEARCH OR ARREST WARRANT. Demand to see the warrant. It must specifically describe the place to be searched and things to be seized.

3. IF THEY DO PRESENT A WARRANT, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TELL THEM ANYTHING OTHER THAN YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS. You have a right to observe what they do. You should take written notes of what they do, their names, badge numbers, and what agency they're from. Have friends who are present act as witnesses.

4. IF THE POLICE, RCMP OR FBI TRY TO QUESTION YOU OR TRY TO ENTER YOUR HOME WITHOUT A WARRANT, JUST SAY NO. The police are very skilled at getting information from people, so attempting to outwit them is very risky. You can never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information can hurt you or someone else.

5. ANYTHING YOU SAY TO A FBI AGENT OR COP MAY BE USED AGAINST YOU AND OTHER PEOPLE. Once you've been arrested, you can't talk your way out of it. Don't try to engage cops in a dialogue or respond to accusations.

6. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO REVEAL YOUR HIV STATUS TO THE POLICE, JAIL PERSONNEL, RCMP OR FBI. If you've been arrested, you should refuse to take a blood test until you've been brought before a judge and have a lawyer.

7. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO MAKE THREE TELEPHONE CALLS if you've been arrested on state charges and booked into jail. Within three hours of your arrest, you have a right to free local calls to a lawyer, a bail bondsman, and a friend or relative. Demand this right .


9. THE FBI MAY THREATEN YOU WITH A GRAND JURY SUBPOENA IF YOU DON'T TALK TO THEM. They may give you a subpoena anyway, so anything you tell them may permit them to ask you more detailed questions later. If you're given a subpoena, you should call a lawyer immediately or contact the National Lawyers Guild. Tell movement groups and your friends about the subpoena. Don' try to deal with it alone.

10. IF YOU ARE NERVOUS ABOUT SIMPLY REFUSING TO TALK, YOU MAY FIND IT EASIER TO TELL THEM TO CONTACT YOUR LAWYER. Once a lawyer is involved, the FBI and police usually back off because they've lost their power to intimidate.

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