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What You Should Know About Criminal Procedure in Thailand 您應該知道的泰國刑事訴訟程序

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

There are some concepts you should know when filing a criminal case in Thailand. For example, there is no jury system in Thailand. In addition, when an accused is detained at the police station, the police have the power to detain the accused of no more than 48 hours, and not more than 24 hours for offenses brought to the juvenile court.[1]Following is detailed procedure of the criminal cases in Thailand:


1st Steps: Complaint

第一步: 備案

The injured parties can make a complaint at a local police department where the incident occurred or where the injured parties’ current resident, if the incident took place online.


2nd Steps: Inquiry and Investigation


The “Police Report” have to make within the same day when the complaint was made. Usually it will contain places, time, what happened during the incident, and what damages the injured parties have suffered. Once the inquiry has been finished, the investigation will begin.


After the investigation has concluded and the possible charges were found, the next step is to summon the alleged parties to give a statement to inquire the incident and whether the charges have the merit to proceed to the courts.


During that interrogation, the police must notify the rights of alleged parties such as the right not to answer questions, not to have audio recordings, video recordings, or the right to contact lawyer for advice, or perhaps it can provide an opportunity to connect with outsiders such as relatives or friends. But there are exceptions in cases where contacting third parties may deform the case.[2]


3rd Steps: Summon and Arrest

第三步: 傳喚和逮捕

The officer will usually issue the “Summon Warrant” to the alleged parties to take the statement of the other parties and weight it against the injured parties’ statement from the 1st steps. This summon warrant will be issued 2 times and such warrant can be postponed to later date if the summon date as specified on the warrant is inconvenient to the alleged parties.


If, however, the alleged parties do not show up at the summoned police station after the 2nd summon warrant was issued, this will turn into an “Arrest Warrant” and the officer themselves are allowed to forcibly detain the alleged parties and take the statement of the incident. After the preliminary statement was given, the police will finalize the cases.[3]


4th Steps: Conclusion of the Charges and Making an Official Report

第四步: 結案和做正式報告

The period that the alleged parties would be detained will depend on the penalties and punishment of the charges that Section 87 of Criminal Procedure has prescribed as followed:


1. In the Petty Offenses Cases: No more than 48 hours (Or 2 Days) starting from the time that alleged parties arrived at the police department. Under special circumstances, this period can be extended to 3 days.


2. In the Offense where the punishment is not exceeding 6 months or fine not exceeding 500 THB or both: No more than 7 days within the single period.

不超過 6 個月監禁或不超過500泰銖罰款、或兩者併罰的罪行:一次不超過 7 天。

3. In the Offense where the punishment is exceeding 6 months but no more than10 years or a fine exceeding 500 THB or both: The detained period must not exceed 12 days for each period. The Court could order several detention periods, but in total, must not exceeding 48 days.

超過 6 個月監禁但不超過10年、或超過500泰銖罰款、或兩者併罰:每次拘留時間不得超過12天。法院可以下令數個拘留時間,但總共不得超過48天。

4. In the Offense where the punishment is exceeding 10 years regardless of a fine: The detained period must not exceed 12 days for each period. The Court could order several detention periods, but in total, must not exceeding 84 days.

若為超過10年的刑期,不論罰款:拘留期間每次不得超過12天。法院可以下令數個拘留期,但總共不得超過 84 天。

5th Steps: Lodging of Lawsuits & 6th Steps: Court Hearing


After the officer has concluded the report as aforementioned, in the Criminal Case, the Public Prosecutor will have the discretion whether to submit the case to Court or not. You may refer to our earlier article “Criminal Law Procedure in Thailand” at From the first hearing to the final judgment by the Court, could take up to 6 months or up to 1 or 2 years for all of the process to be concluded.


[1] Section 7 of the Act on Establishment of the District Court and Criminal Procedure in the District Court or Section 87 of the Criminal Procedure Code. [2] Section 134/4 of the Criminal Procedure Code. [3] Section 66 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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