DO NOT LET THE COPS, ICE, OR THE FBI INTO YOUR HOME
You have the same constitutional rights with any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency. You have a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. You have a right to remain silent and do not have to answer questions from agents.
Exercise these rights to the fullest.
If an agent knocks, DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR.
If possible, speak through the door.
- Say “I am exercising my right to remain silent and my right to an attorney. I do not consent to a search or to you entering. My attorney advised me to refrain from answering questions. I will not answer questions.”
- Say: “Do you have a warrant? Do you have a business card? Please slide them under the door.”
If you must go outside to speak, close the door behind you.
If they want to talk:
• Do not sign anything that you’re given.
• If the agent is with the FBI and you live in the Bay Area, call the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Chapter at (415) 285-1041. Leave a message, let them know it’s urgent and that you need immediate assistance from a lawyer.
• If the agent is with ICE and you live in the Bay Area, call the San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network ICE raid hotline at (415) 200-1548.
If they’re here to search your house:
• Ask if they have a search warrant. If they don’t show the warrant to you, that is something that can be argued in court later. If you physically resist officers, that could lead to additional charges. It is not advisable to physically block or impede officers from entering the house or conducting a search.
• If they do not have a warrant again say “I do not consent to a search.”
• If they have a warrant, ask them to slide it under the door or mail slot.
• The warrant must state the place to be searched and the items to be seized. It must be signed and recently dated by a judge. Warrants older than ten days are considered invalid.
- Take a picture of the warrant. Text the picture via encrypted Signal app to Legal Team or Safety Team if you have designated them.
• Any object left “in plain sight” may be seized if it is contraband or evidence of a crime.
• If possible before agents enter, shut down electronic devices, remove items from plain sight, and close doors. Try to limit the scope of search by locking all rooms. Make clear that only the room listed is to be searched and that the rooms are locked and only accessible to that person/entity. Don’t let officer walk anywhere where they can claim items were in plain view and take them.
If they’re here to arrest someone:
• Agents must have an arrest warrant to arrest someone inside a home.
• The warrant must be signed by a judge and specify the person to be arrested.
- Who is named? Do not answer officer question as to whether that person is present. Say “I have been advised to remain silent.”
• If the arrest occurs inside, agents may search the area of the person arrested. To limit this, the person may leave the house, lock the door, and surrender.
- Try to limit the scope of search by sending that person to the door w/o letting officers in or acknowledging that person’s presence. If you can’t, then show officers to their room and make it clear that they have no control over other locked rooms. Officers can only take items in that person’s grabbing area and plain view.
If arrested state, “I am going to remain silent, I would like to speak to a lawyer.”
After an incident, write down every detail you can remember and provide that information to your lawyer. Helpful information includes date, time, location, all people present, the agency of the officers, their uniforms and names, any names mentioned or questions mentioned by the agents, the reason they gave for the visit, and a full inventory of items seized as evidence. Document any damage done by the law enforcement officers.
Do not share notes, documents, video or photos of the incident with anyone but an attorney. These should remain attorney client privileged and confidential. Once the client shares these, the client waives these rights. Do not put them on social media.
In California you don’t have to give your name or ID to officers unless you are driving a vehicle. If police are accusing you of a crime (behavior other than refusing to give ID) and they have probable cause, they are entitled to bring you into the station to fingerprint you in lieu of ID. Providing ID may expedite the encounter, but is not required, especially if you are not accused of a crime.
Don’t discuss anyone’s immigration status.
If there is media, get contact information and ask them to refrain from publishing private or safety jeopardizing information.
Any medical/allergy/food/ accommodation needs while in custody? If attorney brings medication to the jail it needs to be in original packaging with prescription name etc.
Whether to notify work or family? Get consent first.
Is there a car that needs to be moved?
Are there children that need to be picked up?
Are there pets? Do they need care?