3 Steps to Take If You’re Arrested Abroad
There’s nothing more to enjoy than going on holiday, but coming in contact with the police and being arrested or detained can turn your trip into a holiday from hell. In this article, we provide three steps to take if you’re arrested abroad.
When you go on holiday, the last thing you expect to happen to you is to be arrested. That said, unfortunately it does happen, sometimes by being in the wrong place at the wrong time or because you have committed an offence that is considered illegal in that country.
If you’ve been arrested abroad for suspicion of conspiracy in law, a drug offense, a murder conspiracy or anything else, it can be an incredibly scary matter. You will need police station representation to ensure you don’t say or do the wrong thing that could jeopardize your case.
Statistics show that nearly 6,000 British nationals are arrested or detained whilst abroad each year. We recognise how worrying it can be to be in a situation such as this, so we want to provide you with three steps to take if you or someone else has been arrested abroad. Keep reading to find out more…
Understand Your Rights
Unfortunately, not every country has the same sort of rights available when you are arrested. Various countries will have a very different, sometimes corrupt, ways of dealing with crime, and punishing offenders, which may shock and surprised UK citizens.
When you are arrested, you need to quickly become aware of your rights. To do so, ask the officer if they speak English, or if not, contact the embassy or a solicitor who will be able to provide you with this information.
Notify the Local Embassy or Consulate
If you are arrested abroad, one of the first actions you should take is to notify the local embassy or consulate of your arrest. Ideally, you should know your embassy’s contact information before leaving home. You may not be able to make contact yourself, so it’s important to ask anyone you’re travelling with to do this on your behalf. If you are travelling alone, you can ask the local authorities to do this on your behalf, and they must do this.
Although it’s important to contact the embassy or consulate, they are not able to get involved with the legal process. This includes getting you out of prison, paying any fines, giving legal advice, paying for legal advice, or investigating the offence you’re accused of.
Instead, what the embassy or consulate can do is communicate with you whilst you’re in prison, including visiting in person if you desire. They can also notify your family and friends back home, pass on communication, give you details concerning the local legal system, such as legal aid, prosecution, remand, bail, and appeal procedures, provide details of local English-speaking lawyers and translators, and more.
To learn more information on how the British embassy or consulate can assist if you are arrested abroad, see the GOV.UK website.
Contact a Solicitor
Contacting a solicitor when you’re abroad can sometimes be hard to initially do, especially if you do not speak the country’s language, cannot communicate with the police due to a language barrier, or are unable to access any information on local English speaking solicitors. On benefit of some travel insurance policies is that they provide a referral recommendations for these type of circumstances.
It’s really important that you try to seek legal advice and guidance as soon as possible. A criminal defence solicitor will be able to provide valuable advice that can help your case, such as the way you should respond to questions, which questions you shouldn’t answer, and more. In addition, a solicitor will be able to represent you in certain situations, such as during a police interview and throughout a trial. It would be wise to choose a solicitor who can both speak your language and that of the country you have been arrested in.
Alternatively, you can sometimes find a translator that can help where there is a language barrier between you and your solicitors. That said, this could cause problems with your case so is not always recommended.
Avoid Being Arrested by Learning the Countries Laws
It is easy to presume that each country has the same set of laws, but every single country you step foot into will have something different from the laws you know back home.
You don’t want to risk being caught up in a crime and potentially facing prison time abroad. Prior to going to a new country for your holiday or travelling, you need to make sure that you are aware of the laws that are different there to your home country. Here are some of the weirdest laws you can find around the world and, if you don’t follow them, it could land you in prison.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a legal professional if you’re seeking advice about being arrested abroad. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.