Arrest and Detention

You may not be arrested by an official or police official without a court order or an arrest warrant. This is governed by Section 80 of the Criminal Procedure Act of Thailand. Certain cases are however except from this process. These are listed as follows:

  • (a) Where the offence was a flagrant offence and/or the person having been pursued physically;
  • (b) A person at the scene of the crime who still has an object/weapon or visible traces of guilt;
  • (c) Where the person has been found with tools or weapons with reasonable cause to suspect the person is going to commit a crime;
  • (d) Where there is justifiable evidence supporting an arrest warrant under Section 66 but due to urgency there is no time to apply for the warrant;
  • (e) Where the person has escaped or is going to escape after being released on bail. Section 117 does not require an arrest warrant.

When arrested the police will follow the following procedure:

  • 1.       They will tell you that you are being arrested;
  • 2.       They will tell you what you are being arrested for;
  • 3.       You may choose to plead or not however you have a right to a lawyer before you plead;
  • 4.       You do have the right to remain silent;
  • 5.       You have a right to notify a family member or lawyer of your arrest;
  • 6.       They are allowed to search you and hold any articles for evidence;

When taken into custody you will then have the following:

In the case of a misdemeanour they will more likely release you on a provisional release once you have identified yourself and they know where you live. If there is no provisional release, then you will appear before a court within 48 hours.

thai criminal law

Arrest & Detention

Smaller Crimes

If the offence carries a maximum punishable imprisonment term not exceeding 6 months, or, a fine or not more than 500 THB or both then the Court will have the power to issue a detention order only once, with a term of not more than 7 days. These are usually small offences.

Larger Crimes

For more serious crime where the maximum punishable imprisonment term of more than 6 months but less than 10 years, or, a fine of more than 500 THB or both then the Court will have the power to issue several detention orders consecutively. Note however that each detention order will not be more than 12 days and the total time in detention must not exceed 48 days.

Major Crimes

If you have been accused of a major crime, then the maximum punishable imprisonment term of 10 years or longer, regardless of the fine the Court will have the power to issue several detention orders consecutively for not longer than 12 days each but to a maximum of 84 days.