Criminal Law


The Criminal Code of Thailand (CCT) came into effect on January 1, 1957 (2500) and is currently in force.

According to Article 2, Book 1 of the CCT, a person is subject to criminal punishment if their actions are deemed a crime and the punishment is determined by the law of the Kingdom.

A crime committed on a Thai vessel or aircraft is considered to have occurred within the territory of the Kingdom.

Article 18 of the CCT provides for various types of punishments, including the death penalty, imprisonment, restriction of liberty, fines, and confiscation of property.

If an offender is under 18 years old and commits a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment, the punishment is replaced with imprisonment for up to 15 years.

Criminal responsibility in Thailand begins at the age of 18. Offenders between the ages of 18 and 20 may receive reduced sentences, ranging from one-third to half the usual punishment (Article 76 of the CCT).

Offenses are punished with imprisonment and fines. If the convicted person is unable to pay the fine, it may be replaced with imprisonment at a rate of 500 baht per day (Article 30 of the CCT). Property can be seized to ensure the payment of fines. The victim has the right to compensation for the damage suffered in civil proceedings as decided by the court.

Imprisonment begins on the day the verdict is pronounced (Article 22 of the CCT), and if the convicted person was in custody before the court’s decision, the days spent in custody are deducted from the term of imprisonment. The term of imprisonment is calculated from the first day of detention and ends on the day after the completion of the sentence.

Security measures in Thai criminal law are applied to persons who have committed a criminal offense and are aimed at preventing further criminal acts by affecting their legal rights. These measures include restraining orders, prohibition from entering specific areas, bail with security, involuntary treatment, and prohibition from engaging in certain activities (Article 39 of the CCT).

When does criminal liability arise?

Thai legislation considers the elements of a crime in a classic manner.

The first element is the object of the crime, which may include public relations, social values, interests and benefits, individual rights and freedoms, property, public order and safety, environment, and the state structure.

The second component is the subject of the criminal action, the person who committed the crime and is capable of being held responsible.

The third element is intentional action, inaction, or negligence that led to such socially dangerous consequences (Articles 59, 60 of the CCT).

As a rule, the criminal action and its consequences, as signs of the objective side of the crime, are linked by causation.

The fourth element illustrates the objective side of the crime, which includes guilt, motive, purpose, and emotional state of the person.

Specific articles of the Criminal Code of Thailand cover crimes against the King, Queen, Regent, members of the Royal Family, and the Internal Security of the Kingdom. For example, defamation, insult, or threats against the Royal Family are punishable by imprisonment from three to fifteen years (Article 112 of the CCT).

Individuals committing acts of violence to overthrow or alter the Constitution, reject or seize the existing power, or divide the Kingdom are subject to the death penalty or life imprisonment (Article 113 of the CCT).

Now let’s focus on criminal offenses that have occurred in our practice in the territory where our law firm operates:

Possession, use, sale, or import of narcotic drugs (Penalty Drugs Act 2522, 1979).

Libel, damage to reputation (Articles 326, 328 of the CCT).

Theft of personal property in public places and villas, including at night (Article 335 of the CCT).

Robbery, including with the use of weapons (Articles 339 and 340 of the CCT).

Reckless driving resulting in death (Article 291 of the CCT).

Non-compliance with construction and building regulations (Article 227 of the CCT).

Transporting passengers without a license.

Counterfeiting currency and distributing counterfeit banknotes (Articles 240 and 241 of the CCT).

Counterfeiting seals, documents, license plates (Articles 250 and 251 of the CCT).

Fabricating fake documents, seals, signatures (Article 264 of the CCT).

Counterfeiting share certificates and notifying officials of such changes (Articles 266 and 267 of the CCT).

Possession of forged documents causing harm to others (Article 269 of the CCT).

Counterfeiting electronic cards and unauthorized use of others’ cards (Articles 269/1, 269/2, 269/5 of the CCT).

Deception and fraud (Article 341 of the CCT).

Fraud against creditors, issuing worthless bank checks (Article 349 of the CCT).

Unauthorized appropriation of other people’s property (Article 352 of the CCT).

Appropriation of income when managing someone else’s real estate (Article 353 of the CCT).

Trespassing – crossing the boundaries of someone else’s property with the intention of committing an action that disrupts peaceful possession (Articles 362 and 364 of the CCT) using violence or the threat of violence (Article 365 of the CCT).

Minor offenses – refusal to give name or address to a public official (Article 367 of the CCT), failure to obey a public official’s order without reasonable cause (Article 368 of the CCT), unauthorized dismantling of signs and advertisements (Article 369 of the CCT), creating noise or disturbances (Article 370), public quarrels (Article 372 of the CCT), firing weapons unnecessarily and in crowded places (Article 376 of the CCT), obstruction of public passage, indecent behavior, etc.

The practice of criminal cases is based on criminal proceedings according to the Criminal Procedure Code of Thailand (CPCT), which has been in effect since 1934 (2477) with updates in 2005 and 2009.