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 A summary of likely events where a foreigner would end up at the police station  

Traffic and Highway police normally issue on the spot fines for misbehaviour such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt or leaving your crash helmet at home. Payment of the fine usually concludes the matter. Unless you cannot pay the fine or won't then you pay at the police station and the fine is normally double

 The Reason Why

 Illegal Working 

The most usual reasons why farang's are formally arrested by the police are VISA OVERSTAY and NON PAYMENT of a hotel bill. Offenders will be produced in court in less than three days and the standard sentence for overstay is one month in detention or immediate payment of a fine of 2,000 or 3,000 Baht.
The fine actually reduces by 70 Baht for each day of incarceration.


NON PAYERS of a hotel bill will usually be offered the opportunity to pay back the hotel , or be imprisoned for one or two months depending on the outstanding amount.
Whether the farang can pay or not, the result will be deportation from the kingdom, as the visitor has seriously broken Thai law by misusing his or her status as a guest.
If the offender does not have a valid return ticket, they will have to hang around in the police station cells until a friend or relative sends cash.

Working without a Labour Office permit is another common offence. Some farang's are reported to the authorities by a Thai national who feels aggrieved in some way. Others come to light as a result of careless advertising of services such as computer repairs or painting and decorating. Still others by police spot checks on entertainment places or business premises.
In the normal course of events, a brief spell of imprisonment will be followed by a substantial court fine and deportation.
If the farang is in partnership with a Thai, or works closely with him or her, it may be possible to ameliorate these consequences.
Farang's do not need a work permit to invest in a business nor to be a silent partner. But if you do anything more than sit back and watch your money grow, or disappear, you are in breach of the 1979 alien labour legislation.
In recent years, work permits have become easier to obtain as the number of exempt categories have risen.
The basic issue is the amount of capital invested and the number of foreign workers employed. Our in-house lawyers will be delighted to reveal all.

 More Serious 

 Money Matters 

Cases involving alleged drugs misuse, malicious wounding, financial fraud, illegal use of passports etc., will be treated much more seriously. As will charges of child sex and molestation.
Most serious of all are the capital crimes of drugs trafficking and murder, which can carry the death penalty, although no foreigner has been executed since the mid 1970s.
In all these categories, the foreigner will initially be charged and then be detained three months in prison to allow the prosecution to prepare its case.
However, it is possible at any stage of the proceedings to apply for bail. If refused by the first court, recourse may be had at the appeal court in Bangkok. Thai courts, by and large, do not set a bail amount. It is up to your lawyer to request bail by suggesting a cash sum and to have this amount on hand in order to pay the said amount to the court office. The cost of bail has risen sharply in recent years, it is rarely under 400,000 Baht. Bail is by no means automatically given and the police can object .
There are rumours of guys who have offered several million Baht but failed to get out of jail. The purpose of bail is to allow the alleged offender to gather evidence for his or her case from the outside.
Skipping the country is increasingly difficult owing to the computerization of airports and border crossings and, of course, you would forfeit your bail.
Assuming a trail is held, it must begin in just under three months following a number of technical appearances. Some cases may be settled at the first formal hearing of evidence. Others can take years.
A plea of guilty will result in a substantial slashing of the sentence.
It is only at the very end of the trail that the prisoner will be allowed to speak or make a statement in his own defence.
Of course it does. There is no free legal aid, except in the most serious of cases which potentially carry huge prison sentences or death. Even here, a court appointed lawyer may be a junior and not be able to communicate with you in your own language.
Detained farang's without their own hired lawyer will not be able to understand the proceedings and won't have a clue about huge piles of documents all written in Thai.
The only recourse is to hire a lawyer experienced in handling farang cases. He or she will typically quote you a global cash amount eventually to get you home, although this can escalate according to how matters proceed.
Much has been written about corruption in the Thai legal system. You most likely won't personally see evidence of any action. Any negotiations are undertaken by your Thai lawyer who represents the inscrutable Orient on your behalf.
If you don't fancy the system, then do not get into trouble in the first place.

AT THE AIRPORT Sooner or later, ex prisoners end up at the Bangkok airport for deportation, assuming they have a valid ticket. Some airlines will not accept people with a" Deport" stamp, so it is best to stick with your national carrier or Thai. Most deportees will not be denied entry back into Thailand, just because of such a stamp. However, people deemed to be persona non grata, or those who have caused sufficient offence to the Thai authorities by the nature of their offence may be refused entry if they try to come back. Visas can be revoked arbitrarily. As all over the world

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