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How to Deal With and Avoid Arrest Abroad

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Here’s a worst-case scenario: you’re traveling outside the U.S. and you get arrested or detained. What do you do?

First off, it doesn’t matter whether you did it or not.

So don’t antagonize the arresting officers.

Immediately notify the authorities that you’re an American citizen and that you want to speak with somebody at the U.S. embassy or consulate.

Remember, once you’re off U.S. soil, American laws no longer apply.

That means that while the embassy or consulate can make sure you’re being treated fairly, they can’t spring you out of jail just because you say you’re a U.S. citizen.

To protect yourself, try NICELY to get the name and badge number of the arresting officer, along with a copy of the citation.

So where do you need to be extra careful? Tijuana, Mexico is the leading city, with 687 Americans arrested last year.

Coming in a distant second is London.

You can guess what the common thread was with a lot of these arrests: alcohol and drugs.

And speaking of drugs, it may sound obvious, but it bears repeating – just say no.

For more money-saving ideas, don’t miss our Travel Safety & Security.

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