Arrest and Prison while Abroad


When you travel abroad you are expected to abide by all of the laws of the country you are visiting. It is your responsibility to familarise yourself with the basic laws of the country you will be staying in. Just as in the UK, ignorance of a law is not a defence.

Arrest and prison abroad can be a stressful experience. You could be in a country where you don't understand the language, your rights under their judicial system and what to do in order to fight your case.

If you are arrested abroad the British Consul will attempt to help you. However, arrest and prison abroad is not something that the consul can overturn themselves. They cannot, for instance, release you from jail. They have to uphold the laws of the country they are within. The consul will, however, be able to offer you practical help with any language difficulties and also with obtaining a solicitor.

When an arrest or prison when abroad has taken place, you should inform your relatives as soon as possible. Try and get the full details of the police station or prison you have been taken to. Tell your relatives to call the British Consul or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on0207 008 1500.

There is also a prisoner welfare charity called Prisoners Abroad that can give help and advice when an arrest or imprisonment abroad has taken place. More details are on their website:

If you would like to obtain legal advice about arrest or imprisonment when abroad, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 0207 008 1500 or complete the web-form above.

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