There is a great deal of complexity and confusion associated with criminal law in Thailand, especially for those who don't have clear insight into the issue at hand. There may be a lot more to a criminal case than meets the eye, and you don't want to look back on the instance one day and wish you had taken a different approach. That is why it is so essential to work with a competent and experienced criminal defense attorney when the need arises. Criminal law in Thailand often goes far beyond the scope of someone who hasn't been dealing with this system for years.
The Criminal Justice System in Thailand
Many western law influences and correlations with other criminal justice systems are apparent in Thailand's criminal justice system. Thai criminal law recognizes rudimentary rights, including the right to present evidence and witnesses for the defense, the right to partake in a fair trial, the right to self-incrimination, the right to an attorney, and the right to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.A particular extent of discretionary authority for making arrests is usually given to the Royal Thai Police. However, revised constitutional provisions have recently resulted in a regular judicial review system of searches and detentions performed by the Royal Thai Police. The Thai Criminal Code distinguishes all criminal offenses in the Kingdom of Thailand, and the violation of any of these offenses could potentially result in the inception of a criminal case or jail time. Other laws beyond the Thai Criminal Code could also lead to criminal charges.
The Initiation of a Criminal Case in Thailand
A criminal case is typically initiated with a police investigation, a private investigation, or an investigation by the administrative division of the Thai government. If the investigating entity can accumulate sufficient evidence to create a criminal case, bail can be established. Thai nationals' bail terms and amounts may differ from that of foreigners.
Unlike the U.S., the Thai court system does not consist of a jury. Instead, three judges are designated to a criminal trial, and while the defendant resides in the pre-trial custody phase, detention orders are continuously taken under consideration.
Why You Should Hire A Thai Criminal Defense Lawyer
Many people often wonder why hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Thailand is so critical. Although the criminal justice system and Thai law jurists adhere to are quite unique in comparison to other countries, the role of a criminal defense attorney and associated lawyers doesn't differ from that of other countries worldwide.
Despite your knowledge in the field, it is certainly not advisable to attempt resolving a criminal case alone. The procedures and criminal laws associated with a criminal case are much too complicated to execute without dedicated expertise.
It is, therefore, the best course of action to hire a competent and experienced criminal defense attorney. Below are some of the primary benefits of hiring specialized law practitioners:
Legal Expertise and Knowledge
The most noteworthy benefit of hiring a dedicated criminal defense lawyer involves the advantage of having their knowledge, experience, and expertise work in your favor. Criminal defense lawyers have undergone extensive training, equipping them with all the necessary knowledge to navigate the Thai legal system.
The majority of qualified lawyers in Thailand have practiced in every field of the criminal justice system and know how to approach any case in their line of expertise. Thus, hiring a capable criminal defense lawyer puts you in an advantageous position to create a sound case and increases the likelihood that you will win.
Handling Pleadings and Court Proceedings
The charges of a defendant accused of committing a crime in Thailand will be addressed in court. Such court hearings are referred to as pleadings, and deciding whether to plead guilty or innocent to the charges is a significant decision that may have severe consequences. The support and expertise of a competent criminal defense lawyer will go a long way in helping the defendant determine how to plead. Even if the defendant pleads guilty, the assistance and input of a criminal defense lawyer are essential for reducing the defendant's final sentence.
A qualified criminal defense lawyer will be responsible for handling all matters regarding litigation for the defendant. Even in cases where the defendant uses court slang during court proceedings, legal tactics and strategy are pivotal. In cases where the defendant does not speak the native language of the jurisdiction where the case is handled, the presence of a competent lawyer is even more paramount.
If a defendant is not fluent in Thai, having a Thai criminal defense lawyer in court is exceptionally beneficial in clarifying complicated court proceedings.
Support During Appeal
A qualified criminal defense lawyer may also support the process of appeal. As many court cases are based on the comprehension of finer legal matters, a well-argued appeal by a competent lawyer is profoundly beneficial in potentially reducing or reversing a sentence entirely. For this purpose, it is highly advised to proceed with a criminal defense lawyer.
Court cases of any jurisdiction may result in a wide range of sentences, and Thai courts are no different. Although no result can be guaranteed, the support and expertise of a Thai criminal defense lawyer significantly increase the chances of reaching a more desirable conclusion.
Handling Post-Sentencing Matters
Even after a sentence is given and a criminal case is closed, a criminal defense lawyer can still be of assistance. Law practitioners have the right to visit defendants that may have been incarcerated and can arrange family and friend visitations, which can significantly relieve the severity of the situation.
Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are charged with a crime, hiring a Thai criminal defense attorney is the best move you can make. A dedicated lawyer in Thailand immensely heightens the probability that the case will proceed in the defendant's favor. The quality of a defendant's representation has a significant impact on the long-term consequences for both the defendant and their family.
Therefore, be sure to explore a number of criminal defense attorney options and choose one with ample experience and a reputable track record. Your criminal defense attorney must be adamant about protecting your rights and seek the best possible outcome, regardless of the nature of the charges.