Success Story #2: Theft
Bail Appeal Accepted for Shoplifting Suspects(Note: Thailand Bail respects the privacy of all of its clients and never discloses personal details about anyone who contacts us for consultation or legal services. Assumed names are used in these success story accounts in order to protect the privacy of these defendants).
Thailand Bail received a message through the Thailand Bail website’s Contact Us page from a young man and his girlfriend (“Tom and Claire”). They were in a police station holding cell in the middle of Bangkok, close to the popular shopping destination, Siam. We rushed to the police station to try to settle the matter before Tom and Claire were transferred to court custody, but since the pair could not raise the bail money or come up with collateral, they were sent to prison at Klong Prem. Tom went to the Bangkok Remand Center, and Claire went to the Women’s Prison. After collecting enough bail money (Thailand Bail even put up 110,000 Thai baht / approximately $3,500 USD of its own funds), Tom was released, followed by Claire a few days later. The couple were able to avoid a long 6-10 month wait in prison.
Siam Paragon is one of Thailand’s most prestigious shopping centres. At the heart of the city and at the junction of Bangkok’s main Skytrain lines, the Siam district attracts millions of foreign tourists every year. Because of the large amount of traffic and the fact that many luxury brands (Gucci, Prada, Lamborghini, etc…) call Siam Paragon home, the mall has a state-of-the-art CCTV system and security personnel to back it up.
Shoplifting in Thailand carries with it years of jail time, according to the Thai criminal law code. People who are arrested for theft or shoplifting remain in jail for 6 – 12 months, while they wait for their cases to be processed by the Thai court system. This happens for people who end up being guilty or innocent – the wait time in prison is the same. Posting bail is the first step in successfully getting out of this type of situation in Thailand.
Tom and Claire were arrested at the shopping mall and taken to the Pathumwan Police Station, steps from the famous Chulalongkorn University. Since each police station can make its own decisions on people it arrests, and this particular police station was fairly lenient on its policy of electronics devices, Tom and Claire were able to send Thailand Bail an email through our online Contact Us form found here. International case specialist Nathan Feeney received the distress call and showed up at the police station Friday night, 2 hours after receiving the email. Mr. Feeney met with Tom and Claire and held a late-night meeting with the Thailand Bail legal team. Since the following day was a Saturday, the court that had jurisdiction over this case, the Southern Criminal Court of Bangkok, would only hold a half-day session, from 08:00 – 12:00. Mr. Feeney brought a bail lawyer from Thailand Bail the following morning at 7:00am to discuss the case further with Tom and Claire at the police station and later at the court. It seemed like bail could be posted the same morning if the funds could be raised.
Tom and Claire could not come up with enough money to post bail. Thailand Bail will help pay a percentage of the bail money in certain situations, but our policy is to not pay for the majority of the bail amount. Unfortunately, this meant that Tom and Claire had to be transferred to prison. Since it was a weekend, Thailand Bail’s legal team had to wait until the following Monday to visit them at Klong Prem. Tom was able to get together the money he needed for bail from his employer back in the United States, and Thailand Bail presented this to the Southern Criminal Court of Bangkok Monday morning. Unfortunately, bail was denied because Tom had already confessed to the crimes he was accused of. This piece of information was unknown to Thailand Bail at the time, and it caused an unexpected result.
Determined to help Tom, Thailand Bail’s leadership decided to process a bail appeal, free of charge. The next day, a bail lawyer and international case specialist met with Tom. After this meeting at the prison, the legal team wrote a 6-page appeal, showing why we disagreed with the judge’s decision to reject bail. While bail decisions take 1 day to decide, bail appeals take 3 – 5 days. Due to the excellent appeal written by Thailand Bail’s lead bail lawyer (details available upon request), Tom’s bail request was approved. Thailand Bail even decided to put up the majority amount (110,000 Thai baht / approximately $3,500 USD) of the bail, as a sign of good faith. The total bail amount of 200,000 Thai baht / approximately $6,500 USD was accepted by the court, and Tom was released the same evening. Thailand Bail’s lead lawyer and case specialist were there waiting for him and drove him to his accommodation of choice. Within 3 days, Thailand Bail’s appeal was used as the basis for the successful bail of Claire, and the couple were able to reunite, out of prison. Despite the initial setbacks (lesson to be learned – don’t confess until you consult a lawyer), both Tom and Claire were able to get out of Thai jail as a result of our unrelenting work.
Client: “Tom and Claire”
Prison: Klong Prem Bangkok Remand Center and Klong Prem Women’s Prison
City: Bangkok, Thailand
Suspected Crime: Theft, shoplifting
Result: Bail approved, defendant released
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