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Arrest, Detention, and Bail in the Kingdom of Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing arrest, detention and bail here in the Kingdom, with specific emphasis on arrest and bail proceedings.

It should be noted, just to go through some of my talking points here, Police in Thailand can hold folks for questioning for 48 hours without judicial review. Thereafter they  either need to release the individual or go ahead and take the case before a judge for basically what amounts to sort of a “show cause hearing”, very similar to a “bail hearing” in the United States.

The judge can basically order a release of that individual, they can decide the bail as warranted and continue the arrest, keep the arrest valid but basically state that “we are going to set conditions for bail” and if there is grounds for continued investigation thereafter, they can basically hold that individual for another 12 days and there are various 12 day increments that an individual can be held in what is called “investigative detention” ; we have a specific video on investigative detention on this channel so I suggest those who are watching this, go ahead and go over to that video.  The thing to take away from this video with respect to bail is one is not necessarily entitled to a bail hearing immediately. Again there is 48 hour sort of detention period, sort of grace period, under which the relevant authorities can detain an individual and question them with respect to a crime or an alleged crime and then after that 2 day period, they need to go ahead and make a decision as to whether or not the case needs to go before a Judge.

Judges in Thailand make determinations with respect to bail in both a continuing investigation and with respect to those who are going to be held over while the investigation continues and while charges are being brought. They make those bail determinations on a variety of factors most notably things like risk of flight as well as conditions in the prison system with respect to overcrowding. Sometimes there may be an issue where they basically say, “look, this is a fairly minor offence and we don’t really want to strain the system any more than we already are so bail is warranted under the circumstances”.  It is going to be very circumstantially based. That being said, I strongly advise and I want to be clear, I am not a Thai attorney, we have Thai attorneys here in the office,  but I strongly advise that anyone who is in this situation

They need to get confident Thai counsel because making a proper plea for bail often entails some serious legal acumen and then thereafter dealing with either the investigation or the charges and then possibly a trial thereafter,  again someone with some serious legal acumen, with respect to dealing with the Thai criminal justice is going to be very, very helpful especially for those who are of foreign extraction and don’t speak the Thai language because virtually everything having to do with the system is going to be undertaken in the Thai language and for that reason having an attorney present that can speak Thai, and probably having an interpreter present may be helpful as well, but that being said, the thing to take away from with video is bail is not necessarily immediately forthcoming. There is a hearing for it and notwithstanding the fact that there is a hearing, it might be found that continued detention is warranted and under those circumstances it might not even be possible to get bail. Again, good idea to hire competent legal counsel if one is facing charges here in the Kingdom as failure to do so could result in significant prolonged detention in the Thai prison system.