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Do I Have A Right To An Attorney in Criminal Matters in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today, as the title suggests we are going to be discussing rights to an Attorney with respect to criminal matters arising here in the Kingdom of Thailand.

First of all, some things to first of all note about this video: I am an American Attorney, I am American trained I am licensed in the United States; I am not a licensed attorney here in the Kingdom of Thailand. However, I have been operating as Managing Director of the firm here.  I operate and liaise with Thai Attorneys fairly frequently, as well as foreign clients especially with respect to criminal matters here in the Kingdom.  I act as a kind of liaison between the two quite frequently.

This video is basically some observations of my own with respect to rights to an Attorney, rights of the accused here in the Kingdom. It should not be viewed as a dispositive or an exhaustive resource with respect to one’s rights, with respect to Criminal Law here in the Kingdom of Thailand, with respect to one’s rights to an Attorney here in the Kingdom of Thailand. Those who are having issues of a criminal nature are strongly advised to contact competent legal counsel, Thai Attorney, a firm like ours etc. in order to place oneself in the best possible footing and posture with respect to one’s case here in the Kingdom.

The thing to take away first of all with respect to this video is an accused does have an unfettered right to an Attorney here. That being said, unlike say when comparing to the United States, something like the 5th and 6th Amendment, individuals generally have right to an Attorney when interacting directly with the Government. This is in virtually any context.  There are a couple of things, a couple of instances where they may not necessarily be the case but any time basically where somebody is interacting with the Government, they have the right to an Attorney.  This may not be the case here in the Kingdom of Thailand. If one is not an accused but simply is being summoned to provide information, to act as a witness etc., one may not necessarily have a right to Legal Counsel. One may just be being questioned with respect to what they saw, with respect to an incident that occurred. That being stated, this can get a little murky because one can go from being a witness, or one can go from being for lack of a better term, a “person of interest”, to being the accused rather quickly. So in my opinion, any time someone is being, their presence is being requested or information so being requested directly by the Authorities here in the Kingdom it is a good idea to contact and be consulted by a licensed Thai Attorney in order to be on one’s best footing with respect to underlying litigation adjudication or just know the procedures and protocols for going in and dealing with relevant authorities here in the Kingdom of Thailand

So the thing to take away from this video, and with respect to the accused, strongly urge anyone accused of a crime in Thailand or who has been arrested here in Thailand, get an attorney as quickly as possible. It is the best thing to do, especially for foreigners, as the legal system her is very dissimilar in many ways to the legal system that one may be used to in their own country. This is especially the case with the so called Anglosphere. We are talking now about the Commonwealth and the United States of America; the so called common law jurisdictions. The common law system is really, really different from the Thai Legal System in many, many different ways. Most notably they do not use precedent in the Thai Legal System, the use of juries does not exist in the Thai legal system; that is just to name a couple of key points.

So the thing to take away from this video is basically if one is definitely accused of a crime or has been arrested for a crime, get an Attorney as quickly as possible. Get assistance with dealing with one’s legal posture here in the Kingdom. If one has simply been asked to provide evidence or to act as a witness or something it may also be wise to contact an Attorney and receive legal advice in order to understand one’s position and the ramifications associated with cooperation.