What to Do if You’re Arrested While Studying Abroad
Getting arrested is a scary situation, no matter where you live. However, getting arrested abroad can cause you much more distress because of the fact that you’re in a different country with different rules. There are some things you can do if it happens to you, however. These are some suggestions for getting yourself out of trouble if trouble comes your way:
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1. Cooperate and Don’t Panic
The first tip for you to listen to is not to panic. It’s probably frightening to be in a different country and have the police in that country detain you. That’s a normal response. However, you must keep your composure. Stay calm at all times and cooperate with the officer in every way. Answer all his or her questions and keep your hands where they can see them. Avoid being combative or high-strung. That will keep you safe while the officers tell you what you need to know. You may not have the same rights as you do in the United States. Thus, you want to ensure that you stay humble during this time and avoid making any demands on the officers.
You’ll get an opportunity to get some protection for yourself eventually. Therefore, you should take a deep breath at first and remember that you’ll get home to your friends and family members soon. In most cases, you’ll have to go through some sort of trial or legal process to prove your innocence or guilt.
2. Contact the US Embassy
The US Embassy can assist you in some ways if you get arrested and detained abroad. You can ask the authorities to contact the embassy to let them know that they’ve arrested and detained you. Unfortunately, the embassy cannot come and get you out of jail, but they can help you with some of the other resources they may have. Take advantage of any services the embassy offers you so that you can get the help you need to fight the charges that have been wrongly placed against you. You deserve the opportunity to be free.
3. Ask for a Reputable Attorney
One of the services the embassy can offer you is giving you information about a good attorney who speaks English and can help you with your case. They can refer you to a well-established drug charges attorney if your case has to do with drugs. You’ll get referred to a criminal defense lawyer if your case involves another type of crime. Once you meet your attorney, the two of you can start working on the best strategy to get you freed from the grasp of jail.
4. Work on Proving Your Innocence
It would be wise for you to start gathering evidence and facts to prove your innocence once you meet your attorney. There may have been witnesses who saw the alleged crime that you supposedly committed. There may be physical evidence you can use as well. Your attorney can reach out to any people who may have seen what happened in your case. He or she will gather the various details and then arrange them in a way that can save you from a confined fate.
5. Try to Get Your Attorney to Negotiate
One other thing you can do is to try to get your attorney to negotiate with the arresting party or prosecution. The rules are probably very different where you are than they are in the United States. Thus, whatever crime you’ve been accused of may have a harsh sentence associated with it. The best way to handle that is to talk to your attorney about negotiating if you happen to get convicted. They may offer a lesser consequence since you have no previous record. The country you’re dealing with may even have a probation option. Your attorney can communicate with the other side to try to get you the best outcome possible. Keep your hope alive and go through the necessary processes to get the counsel you need.
Get the Protection You Need ASAP
Those are just a few suggestions for you to consider if you get locked up while you’re abroad. You can try one or all of them so that you can return to your family safe and sound.