Legal Advice: What to do if you get in an accident

Advice about Accidents

Recently, I helped one expat friend to talk to policeman about a traffic accident. I’d like to share this advice for anyone else who might end up in such a situation.

Firstly, if a traffic accident does unfortunately happen, never try to run away. You should always keep a good attitude and proceed with courtesy and level-headedness.

One benefit of this is that it will keep you aware of what’s going on and able to defend yourself from any unfair things that maybe happening.

The other benefit is that, by not running away, you won’t receive a criminal penalty. In the event that you do run away, there is a good chance you will get jailed and almost certainly take responsibility for the whole payment of the accident.

In this situation, despite being very stressful, face and perception become very important. It is smart to show the police and the people who might have been hurt your responsible attitude. This will all contribute to getting you a much more favorable outcome.

I’m happy to say that in this case I dealt with, the guy acted very responsibly and calmly during the things that happened. Everything was resolved suitably and I was very happy to help!

– Sophia


Q&A: Foreigners shouldn’t fight back?


What can we do in situations that result in a confrontation or even violence? In an article I read it said that foreigners should not fight back and that whoever is injured worst is the victim.



Let’s look at the two points:

“Whoever is injured worst is the victim.”

This is not right. The severity of the injuries may play a part in the very beginning of the judgment standards, but it will not be the whole case. The police and the court will look at the other pieces of evidence and circumstances as well. However, having an attorney to advocate on your behalf will make them more willing to do so.

“Foreigners should not fight back.”

This is also not right. Everybody has the right to self-defense. However, if the people who attacked you have stopped, then you must also stop. This is a very serious point, and applies even if you were injured in the fight. Continuing the fight after another has stopped will lead to you taking the blame as the aggressor.

I hope this helps!

– Sophia


Have you ever faced a serious situation like this? Let us know your experiences below. Is there a legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at



Q&A: Fined for not carrying passport?


I hope this message finds you well. I was wondering if there’s a fine for not carrying/holding an ID in mainland China for foreigners?


There is no law stating that foreigners must always carry their passports. It may be advisable to carry a copy of your passport information and visa page, but it is not always necessary. If for some reason you are stopped by the police or even brought to the police station to be checked, there should not be a fine involved.

In a related matter, you should always carry your passport if you are going to another city. Not only will it serve as your primary form of identification, but it is necessary to check into any hotels and most transportation (e.g. planes, trains, and sometimes even buses).

Happy travels!

– Sophia


Have police ever stopped you or asked for identification? Is there a legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at