Arrest of a U.S. Citizen

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Arrest of a U.S. Citizen Abroad


Reporting Arrest of a U.S. Citizen

For Warsaw, use our U.S. Citizens Services Navigator to find the answer to your question or receive instructions for contacting us.

For Krakow, email following the instructions below with as much of the following information as possible:

  • Full name of the U.S. citizen
  • Date of birth of the U.S. citizen
  • Passport number of the U.S. citizen
  • Location of the U.S. citizen
  • Indicate: Arrest
  • Name and contact information of the next of kin of the U.S. citizen
  • Your full name and contact phone number
  • Any further information that you find important

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, fined, arrested, or imprisoned.

If arrested abroad, a citizen must go through the foreign legal process for being charged or indicted, prosecuted, possibly convicted and sentenced, and for any appeals process. Within this framework, U.S. consular officers provide a wide variety of services to U.S. citizens arrested abroad and their families.

We monitor conditions in foreign prisons and may protest allegations of abuse against U.S. citizen prisoners when requested to do so by the prisoner. We work with prison officials to ensure treatment consistent with internationally recognized standards and to ensure that U.S. citizens are afforded due process under local laws and international standards.

For more information on arrest of a U.S. citizen abroad please go to the Department of State website.

Information for foreigners who have been arrested or are serving a jail sentence in Poland is available on the Prison Authorities website. It is available in English and Polish.

We cannot:

  • Get U.S. citizens out of jail overseas
  • State to a court that anyone is guilty or innocent
  • Provide legal advice or represent U.S. citizens in court overseas
  • Serve as official interpreters or translators
  • Pay legal, medical, or other fees for U.S. citizens overseas

Legal Assistance – Attorneys

Local Assistance – Translators