In the case an foreign national finds themselves in a potential criminal situation, there are a few things to be aware of:
- It is best to seek legal help ASAP
- You have the right to remain silent
- Do not speak further or sign any documentation without a legal representative
- Documents may be presented to you in Chinese and will not be translated
- Written records cannot be changed once they have been submitted
The Stages of a Criminal Case
In China, criminal investigations are comprised 3 main stages;
1) The Investigation.
This is the period when police will question witnesses, gather evidence, and may eventually make an arrest.
2) Sent to Prosecutors.
When the police have finished investigating and feel the crime is solved, the case is sent to a government prosecutor. It is important to note that China does not have district attorneys similar to the United States, but only employs federal government prosecutors. The conviction rates of these prosecutors is 99%.
3) The Trial.
At this time, the suspect will be detained in a government jail while the trial is taking place. It is imperative that any foreign national seek legal advice, preferably long before this stage.
An attorney can help in different ways throughout each of these stages, and if involved early enough, it may be possible to avert more severe circumstances than if a case continues onward. Additionally, having an attorney to advocate for you can ease the process of communicating with friends and family. Most importantly, a good attorney will break through the cultural and language barrier so that both the client and authorities can clearly understand each other.
Sophia has a long and established track record of intercultural communication. She can not only translate the intentions of both parties, but will ease any misunderstandings stemming from cultural differences and faux pas. Her primary concern in any case is your safety and peace of mind.
Do you have another matter or a specific question you are seeking help with? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.