Being in a foreign country can be stressful enough but what happens when you accidentally get in trouble without realising it? We take a closer look at what to do when you’re arrested in a foreign country.
We could get arrested for many reasons, but our lack of knowledge is often the real cause of this situation. After all, it’s easier to break the rules when you don’t know them.
While travelling to another country, we don’t know everything about its culture and, more importantly, its laws. It’s an easy way to end up in jail. Moreover, during our travels some misunderstandings are inevitable. As such, lousy reading of some rules can prove to be very costly.
With this in mind, we’ve prepared a few useful tips you can stick to if you find yourself arrested in a foreign country. Follow them, and you might be out of jail before you know it.
Don’t Try to Be a Hero, But Know Your Rights
Even though you haven’t done anything wrong, try not to respond aggressively when a police officer approaches you. According to the experts at Cartwright King, it’s better to follow the law and cooperate with law enforcement than try to be a hero. They have the right to arrest you for many reasons, some of which might surprise you. They can’t, however, force you to do certain things, which is why it’s important to keep a few pointers in mind.
Your Personal Finances Are Not the Police’s Concern
It’s illegal for the police to harass you regarding your personal finances or question you about your financial situation. They’re only concerned with offences that have been committed, so they can’t arrest or punish you for unpaid bills.
Don’t Answer Questions if You’re Not Under Arrest
If you haven’t been arrested or detained by the police, there’s no obligation for you to answer any questions. If you feel that police officers are trying to trick you into a confession of a crime, don’t utter a single word to them! Think really hard before saying something because they might use it against you later and interpret it as an admission of guilt or a sign of cooperation. You can always say ‘no comment‘ if they don’t have the proper warrant for questioning you. It’s perfectly legal!
Remember to Ask for Papers at Every Police Encounter
There are several reasons why law enforcement might want to contact you while travelling abroad. In most cases, they’ll show their badges and ask for ID verification. However, sometimes police officers can be rude and threaten you with arrest if you refuse to cooperate with them.
But remember, they need an arrest warrant before placing you in custody! So if they ask you to go with them somewhere without producing such a warrant, you have every right to deny their request and leave at once!
Be Cool and Remain Silent
When in a foreign country that has a different legal system, instead of trusting your intuition or acting on impulse, you should remain calm and think about how to get out of your situation as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter what they accuse you of, it’s their job to prove your guilt. So, keep your mouth shut and wait for your lawyer and interpreter. Moreover, don’t sign anything that can be interpreted as a confession or admission of guilt (you should only admit that guilt when being legally advised by competent representation).
Ask for Legal Advice
If you find yourself arrested in a foreign country, make sure to ask for legal advice before answering any questions posed by law enforcement officers involved in your case. In addition, don’t say anything unless it’s through your lawyer or government-appointed interpreter who is present during questioning by authorities or immigration officials concerning possible deportation from that country (you may be asked about voluntary return home).
Always remember that even if it seems like there are no witnesses around (they may well be hiding), there could always be hidden cameras filming what’s happening inside jails or police stations!
The Bottom Line
Getting arrested or detained anywhere is quite a frightening experience. When it happens in a foreign country, though, the entire ordeal gets a whole lot scarier. After all, you’re not familiar with the way law enforcement works in this region, what they can do to you, and how badly they’re allowed to treat you when you’re in custody.
As a final remark, if things get really bad and you get accused of a serious crime, you should seek contact with the embassy or consulate of your home country. Regardless of whether you’ve actually committed the deed or not, your government’s officials may arrange to transport you back to your home state.
Keep in mind that if your guilt is proven, you will have to face the consequences back home, but the punishment would likely be much smaller. However, it is best to try and stay out of trouble altogether!