YOU'RE UNDER ARREST!-What to do if the IRS Pays You A Visit

So you've been arrested by the feds on a phony tax violation charge. Now what do you do?

Let's start with the most important first. Don't do anything stupid. Even if the 'arresters' are wearing bullet proof vests, carrying M-16 rifles, and arrive twenty in number, they're still going to be 'touchy.' They may even have a touch of the Wyatt Earp Syndrome and just be waiting for you to resist even slightly.

Use your head, control your emotions and keep your mouth shut. There is no reason to get physically roughed up, thumped on or even shot.

Now, keeping your mouth shut, that's a top priority. Generally a 'tax violation' arrest takes place with two, maybe three IRS agents along with a local pud-head cop or two. One of those agents will be the note taker. Another may carry a recorder and all will make out daily reports. Anything you say will be put on that report. Talk football and they'll take note if you're a Bear, Colt or Dolphin fan. Talk philosophy and it'll be in the report. This is a war of the mind. They want to start the process of breaking down your will to resist.

Don't open the door.

Although they may appear compassionate and sympathetic, they are robotisized and are impervious to all reason logic and common sense. So SHUT UP!!! 

You will be handcuffed behind your back. Depending on your prior reputation or their desire to impress those around you, maybe even waist chains and leg irons. If the cuffs are tight, don't complain. Don't ask your kidnappers for anything. Don't grovel! You are not a wimp, you are a master! Act like it! You've suffered worse pain than tight handcuffs. Just remember, your complaints will go in their report. They are the enemy! Give them NO satisfaction!

You will then be brought before the U.S. Marshal for the 'booking process.' They start asking you questions. 'What's your name?' Remember, you're under arrest and you've most likely been Mirandized. In addition, you may be entitled to an identity hearing. Could your answer to that simple question be incriminating or a waiver of a right? You bet!!

If you have a doubt, ask. 'Is my answer to that question mandatory or voluntary?' If he says mandatory (which the Marshals won't) then you could follow up with, 'What will you do to me if I don't?' If he says, I'll get four deputies and kick hell out of you' and you feel bold, you could ask for his delegation of authority to thump your body or your could go ahead and spill your guts. Then, in the court room, when you set the transcribed record for invalidation, exclusion and appeal, you could scream threat, coercion and duress, and from there challenge the admissibility of any statements you made to anyone.

If he says, 'Voluntary,' then you respond courteously, 'Thank you, but I don't choose to volunteer.' He probably won't push the issue as he knows that if you don't give at least the minimum information you won't be released. The same response can be given to any other question, including pictures and prints. 

The judge or magistrate will most likely tell you if your submission of pictures and prints is voluntary or mandatory as a condition of release. However, there is a possibility he may order their submission. You shouldn't be too quick on the draw, at this stage of the proceeding, to give away anything. 

One important thought to remember, if you are Mirandized, is when they ask you if you understand your rights, you tell the truth and say 'NO.' Also, you should start you continual demand for timely and 'meaningful assistance of counsel.'

After the Marshals finish with you, they will put you in a little holding cage. Don't forget to tell them you want your phone call. Take it, even if you just use it to call the local bank for the time and temperature. While you are waiting on the judge or magistrate to get around to presiding over the initial appearance, you'll probably be in that holding cell. They'll keep you there for a while in hopes to get you in a talkative mood. Then the court's pre-trial services representative will show up to try to induce you to detail your life history, supposedly to inform the judge whether you are entitled to release or on your own recognizance or with restrictions or upon submission of bail.

The same approach used with the Marshals can be used here. 'Is it mandatory or voluntary?', is the question you ask to every question addressed to you. Pre-trial services will respond, 'Voluntary' and you can respond each time with the same line, 'Thanks, but I don't choose to volunteer.'

The purpose of pre-trial services and the roll the court wants them to play can be found in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (FRCrP) (available from West Publishing or online at wherein you will find Title 18 of the United States Code, specifically sections 18 USC 3152, 3153 and 3154. Pre-trial Services is designated to make an information report to the magistrate prior to pretrial release so it would be wise to be courteous, but firm.

Now its time for the so-called 'Initial Appearance.' The purpose of the initial appearance, as described in FRCrP Rule 5, is for the Magistrate or Judge to read to you the information or indictment, and ask you if you understand it. He is also suppose to inform you again of your right to assistance of counsel, that you are not required to make any statements, and that any statement made by you may be used against you.

Then he'll start asking you a bunch of personal questions pertaining to your drug habits, your mental health and your ability to read, amongst other things.

So you need to remind yourself again to SHUT UP!! If there is a doubt as whether you should answer, go back to the basic question, 'Is it mandatory or voluntary?'

REMEMBER, you are entitled to 'meaningful assistance of counsel!' at each stage of the proceedings. You should be making timely and courteous demand for that 'meaningful assistance of counsel!' How do you know when 'counsel' is to be construed as 'meaningful assistance of counsel?' You don't until you have the opportunity to interview him. If the judge attempts to impose 'counsel' upon you, make respectful demand for the time to conduct the interview.

Now the government may jump up and down and recommend that you be held in jail without bond, because you won't voluntarily ratchet your jaw. Let them. They're just blowing smoke to try to intimidate you. 18 USC 1342 specifically sets release with the least amount of restrictions unless there is some legitimate reason on which the court can justify the imposition of restrictions greater than what would be reasonable assure your appearance. You should review this section now as well as FRCrP 46. So the burden is on the government to show the court that you are a flight risk or a threat to society. If your refusal to give information is a problem and pre-trial services gives you a poor report because you didn't talk, you can simply say, 'Judge, as required by statute, what is the minimum amount of information you need from me?'

If he tells you, give him the minimum. If he doesn't then remain silent. If the government demands a greater bond than your 'Own Recognizance' (OR) or an unsecured cash bond, merely because you exercise your right to remain silent, then you make demand that their reasoning be put on the record and then you voice your respectful objection loud and clear.

REMEMBER, don't submit to bond restrictions such as limitations on distance of travel, curfew, psychiatric testing, giving up your passport, giving up your right to firearms or even weekly reporting which are just some of what is listed in 18 USC 1342. There must be a legitimate reason stated on the record to impose restrictions, such as failure to appear, previous criminal record, or no established home or job, as an example. Object courteously, but firmly, to any attempt to impose restrictions, without substantive reason. Any attempt to do this would be an abuse of the court's discretion, so just insist they follow their own rules.

Now the court will probably not order that you submit to pictures and prints. Usually the judge will leave that as a condition of release. You either volunteer or you sit in the can. Some of the Marshal's questions are also pretty personal. Other than a physical description of yourself, questions pertaining to your family (who they will contact if you try to skip) are out of line.

Remember the basics. You are a master not a servant. Be courteous but firm. Keep your mouth shut in reference to the facts or anything personal. Always maintain the demeanor of a master and NEVER EVER grovel!! Be patient. This will be one of the most interesting experiences of your lifetime and its going to happen whether you like it or not, so make the most of it.

The above are just suggestions and thoughts of what may typically transpire and what you might say. There are a number of variables, so don't consider this as the only case scenario. If there are absolutes, they are (1) Don't do anything stupid, (2) Don't grovel (3) Don't volunteer anything, and (4) When it comes to the facts, SHUT UP!!


Bob Minarik,

Patriots for Liberty

5288 N. 1000 West

Rochester, Indiana 46975

(219) 542-9065


Copyright Family Guardian Fellowship

Last revision: August 14, 2009 08:07 AM
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