While traveling to or residing in Uruguay, U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of Uruguay. If arrested in Uruguay, U.S. citizens must comply with the local legal proceedings which can be very lengthy and different from processes in the United States. Nonetheless, it is important to declare U.S. citizenship in order for local authorities to notify the U.S. Embassy in a timely manner.
Once notified by the host government, U.S. Embassy Consular staff will contact and/or visit a U.S. citizen while in detention. Consular staff will provide U.S. citizens with a list of local lawyers and a basic outline of the legal system in Uruguay but cannot provide legal advice or counsel.
After sentencing and/or while a U.S. citizen awaits trial, the Consular staff will make regular visits to ensure the health and safety of the detainee.