If a friend is arrested for internationaldrug transport, are you obligated to voluntarily talk to FBI?

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If a friend is arrested for internationaldrug transport, are you obligated to voluntarily talk to FBI?

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Well certainly if you are asked to be interviewed but have not received a subpoena, then sure you can refuse. However, the most likely result (if the FBI or any other law enforcement agency wants your testimony) will be a subpoena for you to appear to be interviewed. In most criminal investigations depositions are not an option so your best bet is to either discuss the possibility of your forced testimony or interview with an attorney who will represent your interests. This is especially important if you feel you might be implicated in any criminal charges, at which point you may wish to simply plead the 5th to avoid self incrimination.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have a friend who has been arrested for drug smuggling and the Federal Bureau of Investigation wishes to speak with you about the friend, you are under no legal obligation to do so voluntarily.

However, the failure to do so may make you a suspect or you can be subpoeaed before a federal grand jury to be asked questions under oath before a judge and the grand jury with a court reporter present to take down your testimony. If you have issues about what you may say could incriminate you concerning any questions, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney in that you do have your 5th Amendment Right against self incrimination.


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