Your criminal trial in Thailand may be months away. Once you have been arrested in Thailand you would have had the option to apply for bail. If your bail application in Thailand has failed, then you would have been remanded to a local prison until the date of your trial. You have your legal rights which have already been explained and you can now follow on to your trial.
Thailand does not have a jury system and the verdict of guilty or not guilty will rest with the judge. The judge will also be responsible for the sentencing. You will be provided with a copy of the prosecutor’s complaint. The court will also send an official to ask if you plead guilty or not to the charges and if you have an attorney or not. The court official will return your decision to the court.
If the offence is punishable for less than 5 years and the you have waved your right to an attorney and you have plead guilty then the court will issue a judgement the same day without looking at any evidence. As stated elsewhere on this website it is always best to speak to a criminal lawyer in Thailand first as the may be other implications which you have not looked at. As an example you might be banned from Thailand and this can be difficult if you have family in Thailand. Always take legal advice first before taking any major decisions.
Should you have been charged with a very serious offence such as any crime which carries the death penalty then the court will appoint a defence lawyer for you. This is not a good idea either as English might not be her/his language and the attorney might be very inexperienced. The court is under obligation in this situation even if you have waived the right to legal assistance.
In a case where you have denied the charges, or in a case where you have plead guilty to an offence for which the minimum punishment is imprisonment of five years or greater, the court will set an appointment for a meeting of the parties. This would be the public prosecutor as you and your attorney. You will meet to officially enter your plea and also to inquire regarding the witnesses each party intends to call and the evidence to be submitted. At this point the dates for the hearing of witnesses are set. The interval between the time the accused is served with a copy of the criminal complaint and the meeting of the parties may be three to six weeks.
Now you will await your trial date and also have access to all the evidence. Normally the will also be the option at looking at the charges or pleading to a lower charge. All of this would be managed by your legal team. This is why getting an attorney early when arrested become very important. Once the trial date has been set the evidence will need to be presented.
Always take proper legal advice from a qualified attorney while in Thailand.
The information contained on our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For further information, please contact us.