Dealing with the Consequences of being Arrested Abroad
Travelling abroad for a holiday, stag or hen do or for work should be an enjoyable uneventful experience and for the majority of people, it is. A small minority find themselves living in their worst nightmare if they fall foul of the law whilst overseas. It is fair to say that for the most part individuals who find themselves arrested abroad may inadvertently contribute to their own downfall either by behaving in an unfortunate manner that leads to things getting out of hand or because they are unaware of the law in the country they are visiting. One factor that is often overlooked which plays a significant role in the outcome of UK arrests abroad is that the person arrested assumes that everything in the country that they are in is exactly the same as in the UK, including the attitude of the police, the law, your rights and judicial system. This in itself can lead to arrest if the person concerned is unaware that what they are doing is against the law.
The lawyers in Giambrone’s criminal team point out that many European countries do not tolerate some types of behaviour that is commonplace in the UK, for example, dress codes in the street, in some parts of Spain for example, including Barcelona, it is illegal to wear bikinis or shorts in the street away from the beach. The authorities have clamped down on hen and stag dos that parade dolls and other symbols of a sexual nature, usually these offences only attract a fine. Possession of drugs in Italy and Spain vary in attitude and types of sentence also if the individual is suspected of supplying drugs this is a wholly different thing altogether. In Italy possession of drugs with intent to supply attracts a prison sentence of six to 20 years together with a fine anywhere between €26K to €260K; whereas in Spain the sentence is three to six years. The highest penalties being reserved for people caught with substantial quantities.
Major problems frequently arise due to the language barrier and it is not unknown for a British person to find that they miss opportunities to contest allegations made against them because they do not understand what is happening nor can they read any documentation presented to them, resulting in legal action taking place which may or may not accurately reflect the situation. The British press and television programmes often report on sobering stories where people find that they have missed a crucial chance, due to the lack of access to an interpreter or have been ill-advised by the duty “solicitor”, resulting in a prison sentence that they had no idea was coming.
Whilst it may seem like stating the obvious, Giambrone’s expert criminal lawyers vigorously point out that if you have been arrested in a foreign country you must insist that you have a full understanding of all documents and procedures carried out; the importance of having a multi-lingual lawyer may make the difference between your freedom or imprisonment. Even if you find yourself in a difficult position it may not be impossible to appeal in the foreign courts and obtain a dispensation due to your inability to understand the procedures at the time of your arrest. Giambrone’s criminal lawyers have an impressive record in obtaining the release or reduction of sentences for individuals in these circumstances. The sooner you address the problem to more likely it is that our lawyers will be able to resolve your difficulty.
If you have an issue with a criminal matter abroad and would like to have more information about the next steps you should take please click here