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What To Do If You Are Arrested While Vacationing

How to get out of trouble when traveling abroad.


Vacations are meant to be a time for relaxation. However, accidents happen when we least expect them, and events can take a turn for the worse. If you are arrested while vacationing, know your rights, and the best steps to take to minimize the damages. 

Know Your Rights

Even if you are not in your home country you still have rights. Laws and legal systems may vary depending where you are, however the universal rights stay true. Your right to remain silent, your right to an attorney and your right to a fair trial. Do everything in your power to exercise these rights, and if they are misused make sure to make note of it. 

Remain Calm

Being arrested can be very stressful and overwhelming. It is in your best interest to stay calm. Anything said or done can be used against you in court. Even if you believe there has been a mistake, cooperating with the authorities will help de-escalate the situation. 

Call A Trusted Contact

Once you are able, call someone you trust. This could be an experienced attorney or friends and family. If you are not in your home country, tell your contact to call your embassy. The United States embassy provides a wide variety of consulting services. This could include a translator,  on-going support to incarcerated U.S. citizens, discretionary support provided as needed and more. 

Can I Travel With Pending Charges?

After the initial arrest, it is time to start planning for the future. You will have to follow the country’s, or state, laws and legal systems, and each case will vary. You should always consult with a lawyer before traveling with pending charges as it may affect you in trial. If your charge was a misdemeanor in another state, your lawyer may be able to appear in court on your behalf. if you were arrested before your vacation your pending trial may not allow you to leave the state you were arrested in. Always consult your lawyer.

Being arrested is usually not planned and stressful. However, it is important to know what to do to not make matters worse for yourself. If you are headed into a long trial or time in jail ensure you have a support system. Surround yourself with a team you can trust and people who will be there for you. 


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