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Traveling Abroad? Don't Get Arrested

Every country has different laws and legal systems, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into.

Recently, a Cape Coral pilot was arrested in the Middle East for having ‘outstanding debt.’ Navigating these situations abroad can be tricky.

“The number one thing to do when you travel overseas is to make sure you follow the law and you think ‘is that simple?’ Not really because you don’t know what the laws are,” said Pamella Seay, FGCU Professor of Justice Studies.

The best way to protect yourself is to prepare ahead of time. The Department of State has a webpage where you can check the location of your visit to see what you need to know before you go.

If you do end up getting arrested, keep in mind that their legal system is probably run differently than ours.

“The number one thing you need to do is ask politely to have the arresting agency contact the consulate or embassy. Don’t worry about contacting an attorney right away they will help you do that,” Seay said.

The people at the embassy will make sure your conditions are humane and help find a lawyer to represent you.

Cultural differences are another thing to think about when traveling abroad. Some things are offensive in some cultures that are completely okay or encouraged in another.

“Something that you would think of as a harmless prank here in the US. Where we would look at you, shake our heads and say, ‘kids, don’t that anymore.’ In another country that is an offense in which you might be incarcerated,” Seay said.