When it comes to international law, the best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with the basics when traveling outside the United States. Take the time to research their most common laws…and consequences. It can save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Many countries have consequences for certain crimes that we may consider harsh or unnecessary. But depending on the country, their laws may not be constructed strictly for legal purposes, but moral reasons as well. A lot of countries – especially in Asia – hold their citizens morally accountable. Breaking a moral law can send you to jail for as much time, or even more, as breaking a law strictly based on legality.
Okabe & Haushalter have been defending clients from international prosecution for years. They understand that many countries do not have a legal justice system like America. Many do not have a “second chance” program. Sometimes, the decision is left solely up to the judge. This means your life is literally in the hands of one individual. So, finding a determined international criminal defense attorney is your best bet if you find yourself in trouble with the local law of another country. Although they are based in Los Angeles, Okabe & Haushalter have defended people around the world. They have an iron-clad defense strategy that rivals many other law offices.
A great example of needing a determined international criminal defense attorney can be found in the movie “Brokedown Palace,” starring Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale and Bill Pullman. Two recent high school graduates tell their parents they are going to Hawaii, but go to Thailand instead. When in Thailand, they meet a young Aussie man who hangs out with them and shows them a good time. He convinces them to go to Hong Kong with him, and they agree. But without their knowledge, the young man plants cocaine on the girls. They are caught by the Thai police at the airport and thrown in jail. The conditions are horrible. They are mixed in with other “criminals” from around the world; some given life sentences. The girls are given 33 years after unknowingly signing a confession (it is written in Thai). In Thailand, it is better to use drugs to sell it. If you use drugs, only one person gets hurt; but if you sell it, it hurts many, according to the movie. The girls’ parents hire a determined international criminal defense attorney who is American. He explains the magnitude of the situation. Eventually, one of the girls strikes a deal with the judge; she will confess to the drug smuggling in exchange for her friend’s freedom. The judge accepts. One girl stays to serve the 33 years while the other goes home.
Although the girls technically did nothing wrong, the actual drug smuggler is not brought to justice, leaving them to pay for his crimes. Without the help of their determined international criminal defense attorney, both girls would be locked away for decades, and two lives would be ruined.