Legal Corner: What Are the Penalties for Assaulting a Police Officer in Thailand?


A major story has dominated the media today after two New Zealand men were arrested for allegedly assaulting a traffic police officer in Phuket, as we reported here.

But, what are the penalties for assaulting a police officer in Thailand? We consulted our partners at Issan Lawyers and this is what they had to say:

In Thailand, assault is a serious offense, especially when it involves a police officer. Here are the penalties associated with assaulting a police officer:

1. Misdemeanor Assault:

– If you treat another person with insolence or in an offensive manner in a public place, you can be imprisoned for up to one month or fined up to 1,000 Baht (30 USD) or both.

2. Assault on a Police Officer:

– Assaulting a police officer is considered a violent felony in Thailand.
– The penalties for this offense can vary based on several factors, but generally:
– You may face a fine of about $5,000 USD.
– You might need to pay additional fees, such as a compulsory surcharge fee of $300 or a victim assistance fee.
– Probation is usually not an option, and imprisonment can range from two years to life imprisonment.
– Bail may be granted in some cases, but you’ll need to surrender your passport to the court to prevent fleeing the country while on bail.
– You must remain in Thailand until your court dates are concluded, which could be several weeks or even several years away in complex cases.
– Seek legal advice promptly after being arrested to protect your rights and avoid self-incrimination.

In addition, the two men from New Zealand may also be facing armed assault charges for allegedly taking the cop’s gun, traffic charges for speeding, and importantly charges for reportedly evading arrest and fleeing from the police, which carry the following penalties in Thailand:

1. Evading Arrest:

– If you attempt to escape from law enforcement officers who are trying to apprehend you, you may face the following penalties:
– Imprisonment: The duration of imprisonment can vary based on the specific circumstances, but it typically ranges from one year to several years.
– Fines: The fine amount can also vary, but it may be substantial.
– Additional Charges: Depending on the situation, you could be charged with other offenses related to resisting arrest or obstructing justice.

2. Fleeing from the Police:

– If you actively flee from the police during a pursuit, whether on foot or in a vehicle, the penalties can include:
– Imprisonment: The length of imprisonment may be several years.
– Significant Fines: You may be required to pay a substantial fine.
– License Suspension: Your driver’s license may be suspended or even revoked.
– Vehicle Impoundment: If you were driving a vehicle, it could be impounded.
– Civil Liability: In addition to criminal penalties, you might be held liable for any damages caused during the pursuit.

3. Seriousness of the Offense:

– The severity of the penalties depends on factors such as the level of force used, the danger posed to others, and whether anyone was injured during the incident.
– Repeat Offenses: If you have a history of evading arrest or fleeing from the police, the penalties may be even more severe.

Remember that seeking legal advice promptly after any arrest or legal situation is crucial. Consider reaching out to Issan Lawyers, contact information below, for assistance with any problems you may have had or questions regarding legal matters.

Isaan Lawyers specializes in providing legal services for expats and overseas nationals in Thailand.

For more information, visit Issan Lawyers here.

*Disclaimer: This article provides general information and does not constitute legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney for personalized guidance.*

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Adam Judd
Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: