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Defendant's Rights in a Criminal Matter

A criminal case is a lawsuit brought by a prosecutor which charges a person with the commission of a crime, or by an individual who claims to suffer damages from a criminal act. If you are the defendant, it is important that you are aware of your rights in a criminal matter.

In Thailand, there are two categories in criminal cases.
  1. Government Prosecutors initiate the Criminal cases that cannot be compromised or settled. These are criminal cases that affect the public peace or causes harm to society, the security of the country, are a threat to life or physical well-being, or to public or personal property. This includes serious crimes such as dealing with drugs, deforestation, illegal gambling and corruption.
  2. Criminal cases that can be compromised. These are criminal cases that do not affect public peace. They are offenses that affect an individual or a group of individuals. Some of these criminal cases include trademark infringement, defamation by slandering or libel, revealing trade secrets, committing fraud, cheating a creditor, embezzlement, trespassing, copyright matters, etc. The victim must personally file a complaint within the three-month statute of limitations, which runs from the date of knowing the crime and the recognition of the suspect.
Investigation Stage

During this stage, the police will conduct the initial investigation, interview witnesses, collect evidences, and issue a police report.  The alleged offender has the following rights in a criminal matter:

Court Stage

The Defendant’s rights in a criminal matter are as follows:

(Reference: Thai Law for Foreigner)

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