Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Travelers: Trouble When Traveling
Hopefully you will never be arrested when traveling in a foreign country. But, if that should happen, even for a minor infraction, here are some things to think about and do.
As soon as you are arrested, ask to speak to the American Embassy or US Consulate. According to the State Department, this is a critical step and can't be skipped. Legally, under the Vienna Convention, you have the right to receive assistance from the United States. Bottom line...keep making the request until it is granted.
Understand, however, the American Embassy is not like a get out of jail free card. They are there to assist you...not clear you of any wrong doings.
Then, ask an officer for a written statement of your rights. Ask for interpreter if necessary. Don't chance your limited knowledge of a language you don't easily speak or understand.
Keep in mind, your rights in other countries are going to be very different from those in the US. Also remember when you are in a foreign country...their laws and rules apply.
Try to get a phone call and give pertinent, factual info to that person. This is to alert your family, etc. as to where you are, how an attorney can reach you, etc.