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Thailand Bail Bond

by Magna Carta Law Office

A suspect or alleged offender is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Anybody charged with a criminal offence shall be admitted to bail as a matter of right, with sufficient sureties as prescribed by law before judgment is passed by the court for an offence not punishable by life imprisonment or death. A bail bond is one method used to obtain a temporary release of an alleged offender or accused person awaiting trial upon criminal charges from the custody of law enforcement officials, sometimes on condition that a sum of money or other asset is lodged to guarantee their appearances in court on scheduled dates. If the individual is proven not guilty, or appears for imprisonment upon being found guilty, the Court will order the bail bond returned on the day the judgement is read without the need to submit a request. If the alleged offender escapes, or otherwise fails to appear in court, the bail is forfeited.

 

In many cases, when the alleged offender cannot raise the bail themselves, they hire a bail bondsman or bail bond agent to pledge the security to the court. A bail bondsman can be any individual, juristic person, or entity that acts as a surety and pledges money or assets as bail to ensure the future appearances of an alleged offender in court. Private bail bond companies have already been allowed by the Thai Law to post bail for alleged offenders except for drug-related cases. This is provided by most insurance companies through a bail bond policy.

 

Alleged offenders may be released without bail in less serious cases such as defamation, extortion, minor theft or injury caused in a fight. The judge will decide whether the alleged offender is eligible to be released on bail and at what cost. The minimum bail amount may vary because the amount of bail for each case is set by the presiding judge of each jurisdiction, considering each particular criminal action and its evidences. The more serious the charge is, the higher the bail will be. A written request, with all the necessary documents, must be submitted by a bail bondsman to the investigating officer. The result of the bail review shall then be announced within 24 hours.

 

In Thailand, there are 3 guarantee categories when submitting a request for a temporary release:

  1. Request for temporary release by using assets (title deeds, bank accounts, etc.)
  2. Request for temporary release by using cash
  3. Request for temporary release by using the employment status of a public  official (Government, police, military, political officials and state enterprise employees may be used as Bail Bondsmen, wherein bail rates are set from 60,000 baht up to 800,000 baht, depending on one’s position)

 

In considering a temporary release, the court shall use the following criteria:

  • Seriousness of the offence
  • Sufficiency of the existing evidence and the credibility of the witness
  • Circumstances of the case
  • Trustworthiness of the person filing the request or the guarantee given
  • Likelihood of the alleged offender to escape
  • Likelihood of the alleged offender to create danger if released
  • Likelihood of the alleged offender to destroy evidence or threaten any key witness
  • Existence or non-existence of an objection by an inquiry official, public prosecutor, plaintiff or witness

 

If provisional release is ordered, the court will issue a receipt for the asset or for the amount of cash posted as a guarantee, along with an appointment letter. The bail bondsman or the person providing guarantee or security shall be bound to sign a guarantee agreement in which he ensures to bring the suspect or alleged offender to court on the date of the appointment. Failure to comply shall subject the bail bondsman to penalty as provided for in the agreement. If the grant of a provisional release may endanger a key witness, such witness may file a motion of objection to the court.