What rights do you have as a Foreigner living in Thailand

Get the basic information about Thailand’s legal system for expats to be familiar with it before deciding to move forward.

The legal system in Thailand

Many foreigners who have lived in Thailand for a long time might realize that the Thai legal system tends to not work unlike your home country. However, the legal system tends to follow, but there are exceptions, for example, people who fill out tax returns, people who have lawyers, and people who apply for bail. Apart from this, there are also no exceptions.

Having an excellent legal consultant can give you major benefits to living in Thailand. This article lists some of the major differences in Thailand’s legal system that you as a foreigner should be familiar with.


  • The legal system in Thailand is different.
  • There’re some exceptions in some cases.
  • The legal expert will give many benefits in Thailand.

Private criminal

You should be aware that even prosecutors or police officers in Thailand can report you if they notice actions that they think to violate the law, even if it is a personal matter. In several situations. If you believe you would be involved in a litigation dispute with another person, you can consider the option of a criminal charge being filed instead of the civil case to end the dispute easier.

Representation without lawyer

In some cases, the court allows you to representation by yourself without a lawyer. However, it would be better to mention that you must adequate knowledge of legal matters when you require self-representation. Anyway, self-representation seems too risky, and you may lose the benefits that you should get. Self-representation is strongly unrecommended. It will be much better to have a professional lawyer beside you in representation.

“Highly recommended to have a professional lawyer beside you in every activities that involve the legal system. ”

Will and Testament

If you spend most of your time in Thailand, have a property in the country, are married to a Thai national, or spend your retirement here, you need to have a testament covering your assets and property. The Thai legal system also allows you to write a testament to manage for both overseas and in Thailand assets, whether you want to make a testament by yourself or have a legal expert besides.

Having a testament is essential. A will can help reduce any dispute between the family member as it can manage the asset and property you have. A testament will ensure that your property will pass to a person of your choice in the most efficient way after you passed away.

According to the Thai Civil and Commercial Conde, a testament in Thailand must be only made in these 5 different ways: writing, holographic, public and secret document, or word. You might find out, drafting a testament can be difficult, which is why you need legal services to help you out.

It would be better if you have legal expert beside to support you in Thailand.

Bail right in Thailand

When you find out you might get caught in Thailand, you have the right to get bail in any case, except it involves drugs. Bail in Thailand, you must file the fee depending on what offence you have. You also have the right to ask the officer to allow you to call someone for contact at the police station to bail.

However, you also have the right to ask for appeals. You can defend to reduce or get rid of the punishment. It’s highly recommended to consult your lawyer about bail and appeal.

Defamation in Thailand

It quite important in Thailand, and it often happens when people sue each other for defamation. You must be very careful about your words, whether it’s oral, written in digital or paper form to the public that can be assumed it criticizes. You should probably avoid saying or writing something that can define a person or company negatively. Especially the royal family.

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