Criminal Law in Thailand
Breaking the law in Thailand is easy when you do not understand that what you are doing is illegal. There are many reasons for this and the biggest being that you have no knowledge about the law. Ignorance of the law? There are many laws in Thailand some of which you will not know or understand for that matter.
The law however is fair when it is implimented as the courts take into account the amount of local knowledge which you might have with regards to the law. A very good example of a law which you might not understand is that stepping on money in Thailand will get you into a lot of bother as the face of the Monarch is printed on the money. Imagine comeing out of the bank on a windy day and you drop your money by accident and step onto the money not wanting it to blow away. Stepping on the notes will be a big no no! Lets have another good example that being say cough syrup. Now Thai law limits the amount of syrup that you may have in your possession as cough syrup is classified in Thailand as a narcotic drug. Now who would know that?
Not to long back a man was arrested for trading in elephant tusks. He was suprised as it is not illegal to trade these tusks in Thailand -IF- they are from Thai elephants. For him however DNA tests showed that the tusks had been from Africa and he was arrested and tried. So what is the view in Thai law?
Thai law covers the issue in terms of their Penal Codes:
Section 64.- of the Penal Code “Ignorance of law shall not excuse a person from criminal liability. But, if the court is of opinion that, according to the nature and circumstances, the offender may not have known that the law has provided such act to be an offence, the court may allow such person to produce evidence before it, and the court believes that the doer does not know that the law has so provided, the court may inflict less punishment to any extent, that that provided by the law for such offence”