Assault Charges

If you have assault charges levelled against you in Thailand then speak to us today. You will note that there are a  number laws in Thailand when it comes to criminal law. Assault is one of the most common charges in Thailand when it comes to expats as well as tourists. 

Note that you do have legal rights when arrested in Thailand. Always speak to a lawyer before you deal with the police. This is your right as your Embassy will not be able to assist you. Likewise also see the legal process in Thailand when it comes to crime. Lastly if you need to find an extradition lawyer then contact us as well. 

Assault Charges

Assault charges in Thailand

Section 295

Whenever an individual inflicts injury upon another. Whether to their body or mind, they are deemed to have committed bodily harm. Consequently, such an individual shall face the penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. Likewise, a fine not exceeding four thousand Baht, or both.

Thai Penal Code Assault Case Example

You will note that the charge include the option of a fine which means that common assault is not a serious as other types of assault. The sentence also cannot be longer than two years. The Criminal Code delineates both the offense of assaulting another individual. Likewise, resulting in physical or mental harm, and the more severe offense of inflicting serious harm upon the victim.

Despite both offenses sharing similar elements. You will note that the distinction lies in the outcome of the action. This, specifically whether it leads to serious harm to the victim. Offenses falling under Section 297 (assault with intent) entail harsher penalties when serious harm is inflicted by the perpetrator. This is a very good example of the courts making a distinction between assault and the charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Case Example

Upon deliberation, it was determined that the defendant’s actions did not result in the co-plaintiff suffering serious harm but rather only caused physical harm. Despite the absence of explicit reference to Section 295 for sentencing, the court imposed punishment under Section 295, which carries a lighter penalty. Supreme Court Judgment No.ี่ 485/2535


Section 296

Should an individual commit bodily harm under circumstances as delineated by Section 289. Then, they shall face imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, a fine not exceeding six thousand Baht, or both.


Section 297

In instances where bodily harm results in the victim suffering grievous bodily harm, the perpetrator shall be subjected to imprisonment ranging from six months to ten years. Grievous bodily harm encompasses various severe conditions such as deprivation of senses, loss of reproductive ability, dismemberment, permanent disfiguration, abortion, permanent insanity, and chronic ailments causing enduring suffering. Note also that this provision also encompasses infirmities or illnesses that result in the individual experiencing severe bodily pain. Likewise lasting for more than twenty days or renders them incapable of carrying out their usual activities for over twenty days.

This is assault with grievous bodily harm. The description is based on what the definition is and what entails grievous bodily harm. You will need to speak to a criminal lawyer in Thailand as this could also be a charge of attempted murder. The intention of the perpetrator becomes important. Best to see if there are court cases for these as an example.

In the scenario presented, all three defendants engaged in assaulting the victim. Defendant 1, utilizing a cutter knife, inflicted serious harm by disfiguring the victim’s face, resulting in a grievous wound. Defendants 2 and 3, actively participating in the assault, are also accountable for the serious harm inflicted upon the victim under Criminal Code Section 297(4). Nevertheless, the court imposes a lesser punishment on Defendants 2 and 3 compared to Defendant 1, the primary perpetrator of the offense. Supreme Court Judgment No. 313/2529


Section 298

Any individual committing the offense delineated in Section 297 under circumstances prescribed by Section 289 shall face imprisonment ranging from two to ten years. Likewise you will note the difference in punishment between common assault and assault with intent. The prison sentences are much longer. Not exceeding two years compared to two to ten years.


Section 299

If grievous bodily harm occurs during an affray involving three or more individuals, regardless of the victim’s participation, all participants shall face imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, a fine not exceeding two thousand Baht, or both. However, a participant may be exempt from punishment if they can demonstrate their actions were aimed at preventing the affray or constituted lawful defense.

The best example comes from case law as it shows how this is applied as it does not contradict the law or the example used in Section 297.

Case Example

In cases falling under Section 299 of the Criminal Code, there was an altercation between three or more individuals. During this chaos, a person sustains serious harm without knowing the identities of their assailants until after the harm is inflicted. Subsequently, individuals were identified and grouped based on their involvement. Thai law permits punishment according to both intent and outcomes.

Consider a scenario where the defendant and one group were engaged in a quarrel with the victim and another group. Subsequently, the defendant’s group resorts to using knives to attack the victim, resulting in serious harm. However, this situation does not align with the conditions outlined in Section 299 of the Criminal Code.

When it becomes apparent that an individual, let’s call them B, who was part of the defendant’s group involved in the altercation with the victim. He was the one wielding the knife during the attack on the defendant. This with the intent to harm the victim. However despite not being the one directly wielding the knife, the defendant is still liable as the instigator of the attack. Supreme Court Judgment No. 7235/2553


Section 300

Individuals who, through negligence, cause grievous bodily harm to another shall be liable to imprisonment for three years, a fine not exceeding six thousand Baht, or both.

Case Example

There is a good example in case law where negligence was as issue. The defendant, with the intention of shooting bats using a long-cap firearm, proceeded without due consideration for the potential presence of individuals in the vicinity. Consequently, when the projectile missed the intended target and instead caused serious harm to the victim, resulting in illness and suffering lasting for more than twenty days, it is deemed that the defendant acted negligently and without proper caution.

In such circumstances, the defendant is found guilty of an offense under Section 300 of the Criminal Code, even if the plaintiff did not specifically press charges for this offense. The Supreme Court retains the authority to impose punishment on the defendant, despite the defendant’s assertion that the act was merely negligent. This does not negate the defendant’s defense, as there exists a distinction between intentional actions and negligence.

According to the Criminal Procedure Code, Section 192, paragraph three, essential legal considerations remain consistent, regardless of whether the offense is deemed intentional or negligent. Supreme Court Judgment No. 2589/2546


Crime in Thailand

Note that trespassing in Thailand is a criminal offence as well as swearing in public. Likewise false documents and impersonation are also criminal offences. Lastly you will also note that overstaying your visa is also a criminal offence and read the piece that I wrote on overstay Thailand. Speak to us online if you have other questions about criminal law or about your Thai retirement visa renewal.

The information contained in our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advices. For further information, please contact us.