Legal Matters/Arrest in Thailand
Americans traveling or living in Thailand are subject to the laws of the Kingdom of Thailand. Please bear in mind that the Embassy is limited by jurisdiction in the assistance it can provide to Americans arrested in Thailand. The U.S. Government has no funds for your legal fees or other related expenses.
Although consular officers cannot serve as attorneys or give legal advice, they can provide a list of local attorneys and help you find legal representation. However, neither the Department of State nor the U.S. Consulate can assume any responsibility for the caliber, competence, or professional integrity of these attorneys.
A consular officer will do whatever he/she can to protect your legitimate interests and ensure that you are not discriminated against under local law. A consular officer cannot release prisoners, provide guarantees of their comportment, or provide funds for bail. If you are arrested, immediately ask that a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy be notified. If you are turned down, keep asking--politely, but persistently. If unsuccessful, try to have someone get in touch with us on your behalf.
Upon learning of your arrest, a U.S. Consular Officer will visit you, provide a list of local attorneys, inform the Department of State of your arrest and, if requested, contact family or friends in the U.S. or elsewhere. Consuls can help you transfer money, food, and clothing from your family and friends. They will also try to get relief if you are held under inhumane or unhealthful conditions or are treated less equitably than others in the same situation.
The Embassy has compiled the following list of Thai law firms willing to assist English-speakers with a wide variety of legal concerns. Each firm listed below has English-speaking attorneys on staff and in many cases, Bangkok-based firms are able to conduct correspondence in English. Firms outside of the capital may not be able to offer a wide range of English services. It may be necessary for Americans to hire their own translator.
Firms are separated by location, with the largest number of firms located in Bangkok. This list contains contact information for attorneys in the Central and Southern regions of Thailand only. Those interested in attorneys practicing in Northern Thailand should contact the Consulate General in Chiang Mai by phone at (66) (53) 252-629. Inquiries may also be faxed to (66) (53) 252-633. The Consulate General is located at 387 Vidhayanond Road.
Please note: the American Embassy cannot guarantee the professional ability or integrity of these firms.