An unexpected visit to your Miami home from FBI or DEA agents is not usually a welcome surprise. Whether you were aware of a federal investigation involving you or not, understanding your rights and obligations when agents come to your home or office is key to avoiding more trouble than you may already be in.
Do They Have a Warrant to Search Your Home?
When you answer a knock on the door and find federal agents standing there, the first thing you should do is confirm that they are who they say they are and find out why they are there. You are well within your rights to ask to see identification if it is not offered. Also, ask for a business card—your attorney will need this later. If they do not have a search warrant and are just there to gather information, step outside and close the door. Be calm, polite, and respectful, but do not answer any questions beyond identifying yourself. You have a right to refuse to answer questions without an attorney present, and you would be smart to exercise this right at this time.
If the agents do have a warrant to search your home, you will be obligated to allow them to enter. However, you should take the following steps to protect yourself:
- Read the warrant and understand the parameters. Agents cannot overstep what is covered in the warrant. Does it cover the whole house or just your home office? Does it include computers and other electronic devices?
- Do not interfere with the search or allow family members to interfere or you could be charged with obstruction of justice. Remain calm, keep your hands visible, and do not make sudden movements or leave the room without permission.
- If the agents have an arrest warrant, be cooperative and follow their instructions.
- Ask permission to call your attorney before the search. If they do not grant permission, wait until the search has been completed.
If you do not already have a federal criminal defense attorney representing you, now is the time to find one.
Contact Danny Izquierdo as Soon as Possible If You've Been Presented With A Federal Search Warrant
If you live in the Miami area, contact Izquierdo Law Firm immediately if you have been served with a federal search warrant. You can schedule our free 4-Point Case Evaluation and Defense Strategy Session by calling (305) 707-7345. In this day and age, even innocent people need a strong defense attorney. Do not take chances with your freedom. Call us as soon as possible.