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Careful Travels

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2022 | Criminal Law

Where you are if you get in criminal law trouble is especially important; where a crime is committed determines where someone goes to court. Laws vary state by state; what might be legal in Minnesota, or wherever you live might not be legal where you visit. This is especially important for drug cases, especially Marijuana, it is legal in some states, but not in others. It gets even more complex when you go to other countries; what might be a minor offense here or not even a crime could be a serious offense somewhere else. An example of this now, you may have heard about the case of Brittney Griner, the best female basketball player in the country. Just before Russia invaded Ukraine Ms. Griner was flying into Russia to play in an off-season Russian league. When she landed at the airport in Moscow, Russian authorities said that she had some type of hash oil in her luggage, which she ended up pleading guilty to. Her pleading guilty does not tell me that she is guilty, I do not have a lot of faith in the Russian legal system, but, even if she did have it in her bags, the 10 years in prison that she is facing in Russia is far in excess of what she would be looking at in this country for the same crime. There are other issues in her case, when she was arrested relations between this country and Russia were bad, since her arrest they have gotten worse.

Bottom line, if you are planning a trip to another country, be extremely careful to check your bags closely, especially if you are going to a place that is at odds with our country. Years ago, I traveled to El Salvador, and was asked to take a suitcase full of medical supplies with me. I agreed to take the suitcase, but before I left, I took it apart and took everything out of it to make absolutely sure that everything in it was legit because the last place I wanted to spend my vacation, and a lot more time than that, was a Salvadoran prison.

Ed

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