Although consular officers cannot serve as attorneys or give legal advice, they can provide a list of local attorneys and help you find legal representation. However, neither the Department of State nor the U.S. Consulate can assume any responsibility for the caliber, competence, or professional integrity of these attorneys.
A consular officer will do whatever he/she can to protect your legitimate interests and ensure that you are not discriminated against under local law. A consular officer cannot release prisoners, provide guarantees of their comportment, or provide funds for bail. If you are arrested, immediately ask that a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy be notified. If you are turned down, keep asking–politely, but persistently. If unsuccessful, try to have someone get in touch with us on your behalf.
Upon learning of your arrest, a U.S. Consular Officer will visit you, provide a list of local attorneys, inform the Department of State of your arrest and, if requested, contact family or friends in the U.S. or elsewhere. Consuls can help you transfer money, food, and clothing from your family and friends. They will also try to get relief if you are held under inhumane or unhealthful conditions or are treated less equitably than others in the same situation.