Leventhal & Slaughter, P.A. - Attorneys At Law

International Crime - An Overview

International criminal law refers to crimes that involve more than one country. It sometimes refers to crimes committed in one country that have an effect in another country. It also deals with securing suspects, witnesses, and evidence from other countries to prosecute a crime. International criminal law is a complex field that is undergoing continuous change. If you are involved in an international criminal matter, contact an attorney with knowledge and experience in the field.

International Cooperation in Criminal Law Matters

International travel and transactions are becoming increasingly commonplace, which adds a new dimension to the enforcement of criminal laws. Many ordinary people have been put at risk of being victimized by international criminals as the Internet has made it easier to perpetrate crimes across borders (for example, the ubiquitous Nigerian "4-1-9 scam"). The fight against global terrorism also has a worldwide aspect, and is not confined within the borders of any one nation.

Several treaties and international conventions exist to provide for cooperation between different countries in criminal matters. The multinational agency Interpol also works to help member nations share information and resources about criminal matters that involve more than one country.

Crimes Committed in Foreign Countries

With the exception of crimes prosecuted by international tribunals, like war crimes or genocide, criminal laws are enforced by the country that enacted them. Americans traveling in foreign countries are subject to the criminal laws of that country. If they break those laws, they are liable to be prosecuted in that country. They are entitled to no special rights or privileges because they are Americans. Americans arrested abroad are to be treated no differently than anyone else arrested in that country.

Crimes Committed in the United States

A crime committed in the United States may also take on an international character. Suspects frequently flee the U.S., hoping for a safe haven in some other country. This necessitates extradition proceedings, requesting the surrender of the suspect to U.S. authorities. Financial crimes may involve investigation and gathering evidence in foreign countries. Law enforcement agencies rely on intelligence from their foreign counterparts in investigating and preventing criminal activity in their own jurisdictions.


International criminal law is an area that could affect virtually anyone. Advances in international communication, as well as the ease of traveling to foreign lands, make international crime a concern for everyone. If you are involved in an international criminal matter, seek the assistance of an expert in the field as soon as possible.

Copyright ©1994-2005 FindLaw, a Thomson Business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Return to Main

111 N. Orange Ave
Suite 700
Orlando, FL 32801
T: 407.849.6161
F: 407.843.3738

Firm Profile | Criminal Defense Practice | Our Attorneys | Representative Cases | Client Testimonials | Legal News | Resource Links | Office Location | Contact Us | Home

© 2003 Leventhal & Slaughter, P.A. All rights reserved. Disclaimer
This FirmSite® is designed and hosted by FindLaw®, a service of Thomson/West.