How to Handle Arrest Overseas
Tourists on holiday expect to be able to relax and enjoy themselves but sometimes things go wrong. Recently the press reported a situation where the attempted arrest of a young woman in the Maldives on the basis that her bikini amounted to indecent exposure resulted in three policemen appearing to man-handle her; in this case, the chief of police recognised that the whole incident was badly managed and apologised. The Maldives is an Islamic country and the British government website points out that tourists should be sensitive to local dress standards. Whilst it is unclear where this incident took place, the Maldives does permit swimwear on the holiday islands in beach areas.
Many British people go abroad on holiday and assume that the laws and the legal system are the same as at home, particularly if they are holidaying in Europe. The lawyers in Giambrone’s criminal team point out that many European countries do not tolerate some types of behaviour or dress 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. Major problems frequently arise due to the language barrier, if you do not understand what you have done wrong this can lead to a variety of problems.
Should you be arrested overseas the very first thing you must do is to ensure that you obtain a multi-lingual lawyer, this may make the difference between your freedom or imprisonment. The duty lawyer may not have good enough English to assist you or explain to you what is happening and the possible consequences. Individuals are often frightened into signing documents that they cannot read without the benefit of a lawyer. In most judicial systems there are opportunities to challenge and deadlines that must be met and if you do not understand the procedures you are facing you may miss opportunities to contest allegations made against you or miss a vital deadline which cannot be reversed.
Nobody goes on holiday expecting to be arrested but equally, nobody goes on holiday expecting to have an accident or fall ill but in the main, tourists take out insurance against the possibility. I would not be the worst idea to take contact details for a law firm against the highly unlikely possibility of finding yourself on the wrong side of the law. Giambrone’s criminal team have multi-lingual and multi-jurisdictional lawyers and with offices in the UK should the worst-case unfold, immediate assistance can be provided.
It is imperative that you do not worsen your position by your own actions. Ignoring legal summons is the worst thing to do, at present European arrest warrants are still in force, hoping that nothing will happen is not an option and will only harm your position.
Giambrone’s criminal team may be able to assist you even if you find yourself embroiled in a difficult situation which is already underway it may be possible to introduce mitigating circumstances or alternatively there may be breaches of procedure which can be leveraged until you have the expertise of an experienced criminal lawyer you will not know what is the best way to proceed.
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