Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘American Warrant Thailand’

17th February 2010

United States criminal warrants are a serious matter that should be addressed in a timely fashion. That being said, there are those Americans outside of the USA who have outstanding US warrants. In many cases, the presence of a US warrant on one’s record can cause many travel complications.

In the past, the Thai Immigration database was not equipped to retain information regarding arrest and fugitive warrants for other countries. However, a recently released article promulgated through the website has noted that Royal Thai Immigration Police are implementing new measures in order to apprehend those with outstanding warrants from countries outside of Thailand. To quote directly:

“Thai Immigration officials plan to build an online information network that will collect arrest warrants from around the world in hopes of nabbing criminals hiding out in the Pattaya area…At a meeting at Immigration Division 3, Col. Athiwit Kamolrat, head of the Chonburi Immigration Office, said immigration police are working with the Suppression of Human and Child Trafficking, and Youth and Women’s Protection divisions of the Royal Thai Police to tighten the noose on human traffickers, pedophiles and international fugitives that often use Pattaya as a base or hideout…He said officials are currently closely monitoring Europeans from France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom; Asians from Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea; as well as those from Russia and the United States for whether they have entered Thailand legally, have obeyed the law and are not hiding from authorities at home…To boost their efforts, Athiwit said the Pattaya Immigration Office will take the lead in setting up a “transitional crimes information center” which will collect arrest warrants from around the global as well as extradition requests received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

For those with an outstanding US criminal warrant or fugitive warrant obtaining a new passport can be very difficult as the personnel at the American Citizen Services Section of the US Embassy in Bangkok will likely confiscate the passport of an American with outstanding criminal warrants. The measures being undertaken by the Thai Immigration authorities would seem to denote that the Thai government is increasingly looking to crack down on fugitives who are present in Thailand. How these new rules will ultimately effect the Thai Immigration process and the obtainment of a Thai visa remains to be seen, but it could be inferred that Thailand is taking an increasingly hard line against the presence of foreign fugitives in the Kingdom of Thailand.

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7th December 2009

Recently, this author was asked about whether or not Thailand and the USA share an extradition Treaty and, if so, what are the ramifications of an American criminal warrant or conviction for those living in Thailand.

Extradition, “is the official process whereby one nation or state requests and obtains from another nation or state the surrender of a suspected or convicted criminal.”

Thailand and the United States currently have an Extradition Treaty. It is similar to the US-Thai Amity Treaty in that it is bilateral, but the subject matter of the Amity Treaty is very different compared to that of an Extradition Treaty. An Extradition Treaty provides a framework whereby the United States authorities can request that a suspect be handed over to the American authorities. That being said, for more information on specific legal citations please see the relevant Wikipedia page.

As Thailand and the United States share an Extradition Treaty, a person with American Criminal Warrants or American Arrest Warrants could be subjected to United States jurisdiction while in Thailand or while traveling between Thailand and another country. Even if not arrested in Thailand, it is always wise for those with criminal warrants or convictions to deal with the matter so that it can be “put to rest.” It is never wise to run from one’s criminal problems.

For those with a prior criminal conviction or pending criminal warrants the issue of passport re-issuance can be critical. The United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand and the United States Consulate-General in Chiang Mai assist with new passport re-issuance through their American Citizen Services Sections. If one is currently wanted in a US jurisdiction, then the Consular Officers at American Citizen Services are unlikely to issue a new passport or travel document until the American (or foreign national)  in question returns to the United States to deal with the pending matter.

Of further importance to many non-US Citizens with pending American criminal warrants is the effect of criminal proceedings upon one’s ability to acquire United States Immigration benefits (most importantly, a US visa). If one has an arrest or conviction for domestic violence, this fact could have a major impact upon one’s ability to petition for a K1 visa due to the provisions in the Adam Walsh Act and other relevant US law. Further, if one has a criminal conviction in the US, the underlying facts of the case could lead to a later finding of inadmissibility by a Consular Officer adjudicating a later visa application. In some cases, an I601 waiver may be available for those who are found to be inadmissible. Consulting with an attorney experienced in Immigration matters could provide insight regarding the Immigration ramifications of an American criminal conviction.

An American attorney in Thailand (or southeast Asia) could be of assistance to a client by acting as a liaison with American authorities or with other American attorneys. Simply providing legal advice regarding the impact of one’s prior choices could be a boon to some as well. No attorney can assist in evading US law, but a lawyer licensed in the United States could assist by providing legal counsel and advice regarding the ramifications of a client’s previous decisions.

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