If an agent is at your door

Do Not Let Them In

Do not open the door, not even a crack. Clearly state through the door, 'I am exercising my right to remain silent.  I do not wish to speak with you without an attorney.'  If they claim to have a warrant, ask to see the warrant before you let them in.  If they have a warrant, you are being raided.

Do Not Give Consent

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

-4th Amendment, US Constitution

The Fourth Amendment restricts the government’s power to enter and search your home or workplace, although there are many exceptions and new laws have expanded the government’s power to conduct surveillance.

An example of search warrant paperworkYou do not have to let police or agents into your home unless they have and produce a valid search warrant. A search warrant is a written court order that allows the police to conduct a specified search. If you are present when agents comes to your home,  you should ask to see a warrant. The warrant must specify in detail the places to be searched and the people or things to be taken away.

Beware of questions like "Do you mind if I come in?" As simple as this sounds, this can be interpreted as consent to search your home.

Tell the agents you do not consent to the search so that they cannot go beyond what the warrant authorizes. Ask if you can watch the search; if you are allowed to, you should. Take notes, including names, badge numbers, what agency each officer is from, where they searched and what they took. If others are present, have them act as witnesses to watch carefully what is happening. If the agents ask you to give them documents, your computer, or anything else, look to see if the item is listed in the warrant. If it is not, do not consent to them taking it without talking to a lawyer.


Roomates, Parents, and Bosses Can Give Consent

If you live with other people, they can give the consent to search common areas including shared bathrooms. They cannot give consent to your private areas.

Parents can give consent to the search of their children's private spaces.

Any area of your workplace, including your personal locker or desk drawer, can be searched if you boss gives consent.