Every person in America has the right to an attorney when contacted by law enforcement of any level. CAIR’s lawyers nationwide stand ready to help when American Muslims are contacted by FBI or other law enforcement.
Just recently, an American Muslim man, who lives with his wife and three children and actively volunteers in interfaith and youth activities in his community, called CAIR to report that an FBI agent visited his home and left a business card asking him to call the agent back.
The man called CAIR knowing the importance of having an attorney contact an FBI agent and the importance of not speaking to an FBI agent without a lawyer no matter the reason the agent gives or even if he has ‘nothing to hide.’
CAIR’s lawyers contacted the FBI agent on the man’s behalf. As always, all of this work by CAIR on behalf of community members was fully free of charge. In the end there was no interview conducted and lawyer told the agents not to call the community member but to call the lawyer if they had any other questions or interviews they wanted to conduct.
The man later called CAIR-WA to tell us that prior to contacting us he had been worried about the FBI visit and unsure about how to proceed. He said that the CAIR attorney was incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and respectful. It had meant a lot to him to have our support and know that he was not the only one to have experienced this situation.
TAKE ACTION: If an FBI agent visits you or someone you know, please follow these three simple steps:
- Tell the agents: "I don't want to speak with you without my lawyer. Please give me your business card (or if on the phone, "your full name, job title, and phone number") and my lawyer will contact you."
- Take the agents' business cards (or if on the phone, take their full name, job title, and phone number), and just end the conversation by saying, "Thank you. My lawyer will contact you. Good bye." (do not let them enter your home or business unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.)
- Call CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or file a report online at: www.cair.com/gethelp One of our expert lawyers may represent you free of charge so the lawyer can contact the FBI agent on your behalf to make sure your rights are protected
All of these services, including the lawyer's help, are provided free of charge to you. As always, we keep all of our clients’ information confidential—including their telephone number, address, email address and any other identifying information—unless they clearly give us permission to use it.