Arrest of a U.S. Citizen

Arrests

One of the highest priorities of the Department of State is helping U.S. citizens detained abroad and their families.  Within the limits of our authority, according to international, domestic and foreign law –

We can:
  • Provide a list of local attorneys who speak English
  • Contact family, friends, or employers of detained U.S. citizens, with their written permission
  • Visit the detained U.S. citizen regularly and provide reading materials and vitamin supplements, where appropriate
  • Help ensure prison officials are providing appropriate medical care
  • Provide a general overview of the local criminal justice process
  • Inform the detainee of local and U.S.-based resources available to victims of crime
  • Make sure prison officials allow visits from clergy of religious preference, if desired
  • Establish an OCS Trust so friends and family can transfer funds to imprisoned U.S. citizens, when allowed under prison regulations
We cannot:
  • Get U.S. citizens out of jail overseas
  • Make a statement of guilt or innocence
  • 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
The U.S. Privacy Act

The Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-579) was enacted to protect U.S. citizens against unauthorized release of information about them by the government.  If you want us to notify your family or friends about your arrest you must first give us written permission to do so.

The Embassy/Consulate will not inform any person of your arrest without your permission.  Even if your family or friends find out by other means, we will be unable to discuss your case with them without your permission.  Although we routinely report to the Department of State in Washington on the condition of American prisoners in our consular district, the Department of State does not release this information to individuals without your permission.

You give us permission to contact people via a Privacy Act Waiver, or PAW.  Here is a sample copy (PDF).

These files are maintained primarily for the purpose of providing protection and assistance to U.S. citizens abroad and not for law enforcement purposes.  While there is no automatic or mandatory dissemination of information in consular files to other agencies, we can release specific information to other agencies that have a legitimate interest in such data.  Therefore, for legitimate law enforcement purposes in the U.S., the appropriate law enforcement agency in the U.S. may be notified.

For the Indian states of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and the country of Bhutan

The 24-hour phone number for the Embassy is 2419-8000 (if you are calling from the United States, first dial 011-91-11-)

The email address is acsnd@state.gov

For the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The 24-hour phone number for the Consulate is 2857-4000 or 2811-2000 (if you are calling from the United States, first dial 011-91-44-)

The email address is chennaics@state.gov

For the Indian states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha

The 24-hour phone number for the Consulate is 4033-8300 (if you are calling from the United States, first dial 011-91-40-)

The email address is hydacs@state.gov

For the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, and West Bengal

The 24-hour phone number for the Consulate is 3984-2400 (if you are calling from the United States, first dial 011-91-33-)

The email address is kolkataACS@state.gov

For the Indian states of Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Diu and Daman, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli

The 24-hour phone number for the Consulate is 2672-4000 (if you are calling from the United States, first dial 011-91-22-)

The email address is mumbaiacs@state.gov