From CNN to Yahoo, you can’t read the news without seeing headlines about Kim Kardashian West being robbed recently in Paris, France. Although held at gunpoint and robbed by men dressed as police officers in a private apartment, the reality star was “badly shaken but physically unharmed”. The Scottsdale lawyers at Canterbury Law Group realize that traveling abroad can lead to questionable legal situations. When you’re in a foreign country, you are subject to that nation’s laws and regulations, so it’s important to be prepared just in case you find yourself in an unexpected crisis.
Here are tips from the Scottsdale attorneys at Canterbury:
- Make informed decisions: The U.S. State Department provides U.S. citizens with plenty of information up front, so you can make informed decisions before traveling overseas. From their country specific information pages, select your destination country’s name and you’ll get tons of information about current security issues, crime stats, criminal penalties and more. You should also pay close attention to the country’s description at the top of the page. If it is indicated that the U.S. has no diplomatic or consular presence, it’s best to avoid travel to that area—bad can turn to worse when an individual faces legal issues in a country that does not have friendly ties with the U.S.
- Understand your destination: As you’re doing your destination research, pay careful and close attention to what you are reading about criminal penalties as you may learn some interesting facts. Be particularly cognizant of unfamiliar practices, the current political environment, and other risks that could potentially lead to legal problems. What is considered a minor offense in the US could snowball into a very serious situation in many countries.
- Make Those Phone Calls Count: The good news is that legal problems in a foreign country can be significantly lessened if you know who to call during an emergency. Without knowing who to call, you run the risk of hitting additional road blocks and losing your hard-earned money to lawyers who prey on foreigners. Before leaving for your trip, find out where the U.S. Consulate is located in the country you’re planning to visit and keep their contact information with you at all times (this website has links to every U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the world). Keep in mind—the U.S. Embassy can provide you with a list of lawyers, but they don’t directly provide U.S. travelers with legal assistance and advice. That’s why it’s so important to keep your travel assistance card with you at all times. For example, membership with On Call International gives you access to 24/7 worldwide legal assistance services whenever you’re more than 50 miles from home. Members also have access to language translation services, which could also come in handy during a legal situation (for instance, if you need help communicating with local authorities if they don’t speak English).
If you need legal advice, call us today to schedule your consultation. 480-744-7711.