Being arrested in Thailand: what to do?
Though Thailand is known as a country with flexible laws, it is not unusual for a foreign citizen, usually on vacation, being arrested in Thailand for possessing drugs or having committed criminal acts, even the most stupid ones. Just remember the episode of the two young Italians arrested for having ripped a flag. The Thai people like much of their laws to be respected, especially from foreigners. Therefore, it is advisable to inquire about the main rules to follow and to maintain a prudent attitude.
If you were to end up in legal trouble, here’s what you should do:
First, inform the local embassy or consulate. Even if they will not be able to help you, they will contact your family to inform them of your current situation. They may also provide some information regarding the Thai legal procedure as well as a list of local lawyers that you can contact.
Subsequently, finding the local lawyer, it is important that you and your lawyer are able to communicate, so that your interests are clearly represented. For this reason, it is advisable to find a lawyer who is able to express himself in an understandable English. There are also many law firms run by your compatriots who can help you in your language.
If you do not have a lawyer, and your indictment provides a maximum sentence of 10 years, the court will assign you an office attorney to represent you. Keep in mind, however, that these lawyers are usually inexperienced and have little knowledge of English.
Before speaking with your lawyer, according to Thai law you have the right to remain silent. It is important to remain silent if you do not fully understand Thai law, otherwise you might be at risk of getting into a more difficult situation.
The dispute occurs with the local police. All negotiations on criminal offenses reduced by a guilty plea occur with the police, not with government prosecutors. It is best to let your lawyer review the evidence before deciding on the best course of action.
Being released on Bail
You may be eligible for bail after your arrest. The bailout for small cases can be paid at the police station immediately after the arrest. The bail for larger cases can not be granted due to the risk of escape; Is usually granted after the first court hearing, about 12 days after the arrest date. After the bail has been paid, the court usually holds the passport for 6-8 weeks until the date of the next hearing.
If your offense concerns drug possession or possession and you are charged with a criminal offense punishable by more than three years of imprisonment, you may be required to consent to a drug test by the investigator. The investigator will decide whether to use test results as evidence. However, your refusal to run a drug test could be used as evidence against you.
If you are arrested for having caused a serious accident, you are entitled to a bail. Some insurance cover this risk. Verify your policy; If it does not include the payment of the security deposit, evaluate the most appropriate insurance for you on our site.
The best way to avoid being arrested in Thailand is to comply with the law. Avoid using illegal substances and be away from environments that could potentially put you in embarrassing situations. In the case of controversy with law enforcement, keep calm and do not ever raise the tone of the voice. In Thailand, there are no “rights” as we perceive them, and only showing yourself disrespectful can greatly aggravate your position.
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