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ResourcesThailand Criminal LawCriminal LitigationCriminal Prosecution in Thailand: Police Investigation Phase

Criminal Prosecution in Thailand: Police Investigation Phase

Transcript of the above video:

Allow me to preface this video by saying we are discussing criminal prosecutions in Thailand. It should be noted I am not a Thai attorney. We have Thai attorneys on staff here at the firm. This video, and basically the bullet points I'll be going through in this video, have been reviewed by our staff just to be sure that everyone is on the same page and I'm not saying anything completely out of sorts with respect to this topic. That being said, I am a Thai citizen. Again as previously mentioned, I am an American attorney. I am qualified in the United States but I have been in Thailand a fairly prolonged period of time and I am the Managing Director of the Firm. Notwithstanding the fact that I am not a Thai attorney and I would not be handling one of these cases directly, I have assisted our foreign clients in liaising with their attorneys and in sometimes just basically providing an overview of how the overall process works and I would like to go ahead and provide some insight to those who would like to watch this video. 

So this video specifically is discussing the investigatory phase, the investigation phase of a criminal prosecution here in the Kingdom and basically what we are looking at is the first part of that is going to be a complaint or a plaint being filed.  So that is going to go ahead and be filed usually by a plaintiff.  Thailand is somewhat dissimilar from other jurisdictions and we have other videos on this channel specifically discussing this but criminal complaints can be made and can be pursued if charges are pressed even from a legal standpoint by an individual so when we get into the aspects of an actual prosecutor being involved, under certain circumstances an individual can do this without a prosecutor although those are somewhat limited in when you are looking at the entirety of criminal jurisprudence here in the Kingdom. 

That being said, the first phase is a complaint of some sort needs to be filed. From there the police need to go ahead make an inquiry into the background of the complaint, into the facts involved, into the people involved etc. The police will then conduct interviews, not only with the individuals who are both complaining and the subject of a complaint, but possibly with other witnesses etc. in order to determine whether or not there in fact exists credible evidence that a criminal violation has occurred.  After that, the police have to go ahead and make a recommendation one way or the other; it can't just sort of be left hanging.  The police have to go ahead and recommend to the prosecutor one way or the other should criminal charges proceed or should criminal charges be dropped or not proceeded with and then at that point the prosecution sort of takes up their mantle if you will. But basically the police have to go ahead and recommend whether pursuance of an indictment is warranted and proceed from there. At that point, the defendant if you will, or the person who is accused the accused if you will, either way, needs to go ahead and present themselves before a prosecutor should the police go ahead and state that there is grounds for pursuing a case. 

Now this is a situation where there is a complaint at issue. This is going to be very different than if an individual has been caught in the act of committing a crime by a Police Officer, apprehended, arrested and detained, that's an entirely different subset of logic if you will. It is a different line of factual progression. Under those circumstances generally speaking, we have gone into this in other videos, under those circumstances that individual can be detained for a certain period of time without charges being brought and at which time the prosecutor decides to go ahead and pursue, the matter needs to be brought before a judge and the judge goes ahead and reviews the case etc. But within this series of videos we are more talking about a situation where a complaint has been filed, and then the police subsequently go ahead and follow up on the complaint. So in the next video on this topic we will go ahead and proceed to provide further insight into the prosecutions role and how they go ahead and proceed with the case after the recommendation has been given by the police as to whether or not a prosecution should proceed and they are going to hand over a dossier of evidence to the prosecutor and the prosecutor will then decide if further investigation is warranted etc. So we will do another video on this channel. You will probably see it within a day of this video going up where we discuss the prosecution further. 

But the thing to take away from with video is a complaint is initially filed, the police will then go ahead and follow up on that complaint. They will interview witnesses.  Probably they are going to interview both the complaining party as well as the person who is being accused. They may go ahead and interview other witnesses and then go ahead and undertake certain fact-finding functions to determine whether or not there is probable cause to hand the case over to the prosecutor.