Forgot Passport - Prosecuted

Old Mar 24th, 2013, 04:32 PM
  #101  
 
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"Germany you have to have a passport with you at all times"

I don't think so. I need to own a passport or ID card but there's no need to carry it (with the exception of working in restaurants or constructions sides and similar jobs, mainly to allow for controls against illegally employed people).
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Old Mar 24th, 2013, 05:38 PM
  #102  
 
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Sorry - in the US you are not required to carry identification at all. Cops can ask your name - but you are under no obligation to give them any information - even if they charge you with a crime.

Naturally at that point you would have to ask for an attorney.

But you need your passport only to enter the country. If you have committed a crime and are a foreign national - then they can ask to see it to determine if you are there legally.

But we don;t - except for a very few places where anyone tan has to prove they are citizens - require that anyone carry "papers".
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Old Mar 24th, 2013, 06:14 PM
  #103  
 
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Cowboy said:

And the correspondance from the Swiss is in French because the incident ocurred in one of the French-language cantons of Switzerland. And is dealt with by the legal offices also of that canton. If the same had happened at the Swiss-German border, the letter would have been in German.


Thanks Cowboy - that makes much more sense to me for the language selection!
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Old Mar 24th, 2013, 06:15 PM
  #104  
 
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"We don't ... require that anyone carry 'papers'".

Guess you didn't read my post above. Resident aliens ARE required to carry their "green" (last one I had was actually pink) cards at all times.
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 01:15 AM
  #105  
 
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Just asked a person of authority about this. I'm with Mr. Crosscheck in Paris. He's traveling with a large arts-related group, ~200 people, mostly Americans. They just spent five days in Lucerne, where they were told that Swiss law required them to carry COPIES of their passports at all times.
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 01:42 AM
  #106  
 
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Time to take a deep breath, folks.

It would be nice to have actual data here.

Both Europe and the United States are collections of independent entities with some laws in common.

In Boston, you can turn right on red; in New York City, you can't.

Pierre asks, " May I turn right on red in the United States?"

I answer, "Maybe."

There are states where you don't have to carry your drivers license as long as you can produce it within 24 hours. I thought Massachusetts was one of them until a State Policeman told me otherwise.

Based on the OP's experience and Cowboy's discussion, I am willing to accept that I as a foreign national, must have my passport on my person in Switzerland.

The statute of limitations having passed about thirty years ago, I will confess that I made my share of fake ID back in the day. A photocopy of a passport is so easily altered as to be worthless as identification.

So, wouldn't it be nice if Fodor's writers, as part of their contracts, had to contact the local authorities to determine what the actual regulations are? it would be a selling point.
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 02:03 AM
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<<So, wouldn't it be nice if Fodor's writers, as part of their contracts, had to contact the local authorities to determine what the actual regulations are? it would be a selling point.>>

Hmm. I just spoke to a high-up local authority fifteen minutes ago at breakfast. The information I received was current as of this week, otherwise I would not have posted - A copy of the passport will suffice while within Switzerland. And as annhig (who is a UK attorney) posted, some Schengen countries don't require ID at all.
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 07:24 AM
  #108  
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Wow! This thread has really taken on a life of its own. Here are some general comments/clairfications:

1. My advice regarding passport: When traveling abroad, keep your passport with you at all times and keep a copy in a safe place at the hotel. All this talk about having it stolen...stop going to dangerious places and/or be dilligent with your personal items, just like you do everywhwere in your home country. If someone robs you, whether they get your passport or not, you are probably screwed enough anyway that it will require a visit to the police station and/or embassy. Being able to produce the copy should expediate the replacement process. If you don't have it with you, you risk what happened to me or something much worse. If you do have it, you risk it getting stolen. I guess everyone just needs to weigh the risk/reward for themselves and take the appropriate steps to mitigate those risks.

I left most of my luggage in a hotel in Lusanne with a friend, while I went by myself to Paris with just an overnight bag. The friend was working all week in Switzerland. I usually don't have the luxery of traveling abroad with multiple hotel rooms in multiple countries. Based on the cold weather, I changed jacket right before leaving the hotel. That was my mistake. My passport was safely zipped away in a pocket in the jacket.

2. I think (but I'm not certain) I was detained on the train for being in Switzerland without a passport. I don't think it was because the train was crossing a boarder later that day. First, the check occured immediatley after the train left Lausanne, where it originated. Second, the train was direct to Paris and still had at least one other stop in Switzerland.

3. I could take a day off and drive to Atlanta, but there is a great chance they would ignore me in person, too. I could also contact my congressmen, but I'm not sure I could afford a large enough donation to get their attention. Basically, I'm going to give it about a month and see if I hear anything else. If not, I may have a friend of a friend who lives in Switzerland contact them by telephone to just see if they can find out if it is still outstanding or what. If it is, I can always esclate the matter to driving to Atlanta or contacting my Congressman at that time. I'm obviously not worried about being dragged out of my home and extridated to Switzerland. On the other hand, I'm not saying I am above the law. I would just prefer to not have a huge fine or be banned from any country or countries for something that started as a minor offense and potentially escalated because I was a) given bad information by multiple "officials" on the trains and b) a letter including demands was sent to me with a literally impossible to keep time frame listing suppousdly missing items that were never previously requested of me.

Thanks for all the good posts! My favorite ones are the helpful ones (of course), but I am always entertained by the ones from perfect people who never make mistakes and know everything.
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 08:15 AM
  #109  
 
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Perhaps you were asked to show your passport because you were using a train ticket that you had bought online and had been printed out by you?
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 09:29 AM
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So are you saying you didn't respond by letter to Lausanne? If so, poor decision, imo. A letter will cost you nothing. Ignoring it could jeopardize a return to Switzerland, if you care.

Agree, they aren't going to come after you!
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 09:43 AM
  #111  
 
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MCKWE- I actually scan all my travel documents (passport, drivers license, reservations, tickets, etc) and then attach them to an email DRAFT. I never send the email anywhere, but this allows me to access any travel docs I need simply by pulling up my email account on my iphone.
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 09:57 AM
  #112  
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grandmere: I bought the train ticket with a credit card at the Lausanne station full service counter immediately before boarding the train.

Cathinjoetown: I did, indeed, mail and fax a detailed letter (in English and French) with a copy of my passport and passport stamps to the officials in Lausanne. It was buried in a post from late last week.

sarge56: Great idea! I assume you mean you could pull it up anywhere you had access to the Internet. I've used that technique to move files before, but never thoguht of using it for travel docs. Although, I use Gmail and it bugs me how they monitor everything.
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 10:03 AM
  #113  
 
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Good!
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 08:51 PM
  #114  
 
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I believe this is correct info from my last Apple class for my newly purchased first iPhone: you can take a picture of an email and put it with your Photos on phone, and this way you would not need access to Internet to pull it up. (As you can tell, I am not very technologically savvy, but I now have a Metro map of Paris among my Photos per what the Apple guy demonstrated)

My earlier theory about why they asked for your passport on train was off the mark, so maybe this is too; just ignore, if so!
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 09:46 PM
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MCK- Well, your mailbox administrators should not be able to see what is in your draft folder. The point is to never actually send it. (Unfortunately, this is how the 9-11 terrorists got around the gov't reading their email. It never went anywhere. They composed "draft" messages to each other and all had the login/password for the mailbox.)

So, in my opinion, there is no jeopardy of anyone getting ahold of your docs except you. (And yes, I meant whereever you could pick up an internet connection..)
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 12:13 PM
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yeah, that's how spy master Petraeus and his girlfriend Paula Broadwell thought they were being so clever, also, that no one would ever find out what they were up to. Of course no one was monitoring his emails at the time. I don't know if he was so dumb that he thought no one could ever find and read them that way, or what purpose that supposedly served.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2129905.html
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Well, Christina, not quite. They can't trace anything to an email that was never sent. That is the point. It doesn't move anywhere, so cannot be traced as being sent from someone.

What this article is stating is that Ms. Broadwell sent the threatening emails under a fictitious account, and they traced it back to her IP address. She should have known that that was a fairly-easy established process that any security/police agency could use to trace who'd sent an email. (It's how they find stalkers, perverts and people who threaten suicide or other crimes, etc.)

But they cannot trace something that was never sent unless they can get a court-order to have your service provider break into your email account. And it would be nearly impossible for them to figure out what those accounts were. (For instance, I don't even use the mailbox that comes from my service provider. I have a half-dozen email accounts at hotmail, ymail and yahoo. I use one for shopping only; one for family only; one for traveling, etc.)
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 05:35 PM
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From the link above, see:

"Petraeus and Broadwell reportedly took great measures to hide their affair. They used anonymous accounts and saved their correspondences in the "drafts" folder in order to use the account as a sort of online dropbox -- a technique often used by al-Qaeda terrorists to make it harder to trace their correspondence, according to the Associated Press. But this trick would not have protected them from government surveillance because law enforcement can still force email providers to turn over messages saved in "drafts" folders, according to Soghoian."

The article also explains how the feds figured out where to look. Short of encryption, and possibly not then, depending on how strong the key is, you have no expectation online privacy.
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 10:27 PM
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I travel with very little fear that the "authorities" will be even remotely interested in what I am doing, so happily send emails to and from my "travel" account.

I usually scan all my docs and send them plus all relevant emails for accom and tour bookings, ticket purchases, etc to a specific email account established just for a particular trip - it eliminates the time lost in searching for them amongst all the other rubbish on some of my high use accounts!
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 04:28 AM
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The fact that you have nothing to hide does not give the government the right to look.
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