Having a Criminal trial in Thailand is explained below. Once you have been arrested and you have plead then you will need to wait for your trail date in Thailand. You will note that Thailand does not have a jury system and there will normally only be one judge in the trial. You can appeal the ruling and this will have to be within 30 days of the ruling of the court. Normally no new evidence can be presented.
Note that you do not always needs a trial. If the punishment is for less than 5 years and you have entered a plea of guilty and waved your right to an attorney, then you can get the judgement the same day. There will be no need to look at any evidence in such a matter and you will obtain the judgement usually the same day as the evidence and presentation thereof is set aside.
If you have plead guilty to a crime that carries a sentence of longer than 5 years then the process is a bit different. This is the same as pleading not guilty. Your attorney and the prosecution will have to meet. You will then get a copy of the criminal complaint as well as time to arrange all the witnesses. All the evidence is looked at and it will normally be 3 weeks later that the trial date is set.
Arrangements are made so that all the witness are there in the period of say a week. You will then appear before court and the trial will commence. When it is done the judgement will be made public. You have 30 days to appeal the judgement. The documents will then be submitted again to the Supreme Court.
There is no representation in this court from the parties. It is similar to a judgement review in the West. You do not know who the judges are and their review could lower the sentence or overturn the ruling. Once they are ready the judgement review is made public again in the court of first instance where you had your trial. You can also appeal this judgement to the highest court of the land.
The trial depending on the witnesses should not last longer than 10 days unless it is a complicated trial that requires many expert witnesses and other evidence. Complex investigations are normally done by the DSI (Department of Special Investigations). Those trials can last very long. The last major trial took almost a year to complete. This is more so where the death penalty is an option. The government will provide you with an attorney if you cannot afford one in a trial with the death penalty option.
Always seek legal advice when arrested in Thailand. This can range from a visa overstay to an assault charge or damage to property or drug smuggling charges. A criminal trial can take months to complete. Also ensure that you know your rights when arrested as this is very important in charges that carry the death penalty or a prison terms of longer than 5 years.
The information contained on our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For further information, please contact us.