While you are traveling in Malta, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own, and criminal penalties vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in Malta, but still illegal in the United States. For example, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is also a crime prosecutable in the United States.
If you break local laws in Malta, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not in any country you visit. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Malta are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Judicial proceedings in Malta typically last five to seven years and are characterized by lengthy and sometimes unpredictable delays between hearings. Foreign nationals can expect to be denied bail while a court case is ongoing, which can result in lengthy periods of pre-trial detention ranging from several months to several years. Obtaining no-fee legal aid can be a slow and difficult process, delaying already lengthy judicial proceedings.
IF ARRESTED: If you are arrested in Malta, authorities of Malta are required to notify the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. Malta’s laws on rights of arrestees are different from the United States. For example, once you have contacted a lawyer, you lose your right to remain silent.
You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.