Defamation what is it and penalty


Table of content

What is defamation?

Defamation is accusing someone before a third party in a way that damages their reputation, causes them to be despised, or hated, whether true or not.

A defamation lawsuit is?

1. Filing a police report can proceed with the case without incurring expenses.

After filing the report, the police will call in the opposing party for questioning at the police station. If an agreement is reached, compensation for damages will be paid. If no agreement is reached, the case will proceed to court. This process may take a reasonable amount of time for police procedures.

2. Hiring a lawyer to file a lawsuit allows for both criminal charges and civil damages to be claimed.

The lawyer can immediately proceed with the lawsuit without waiting for police action.

3. Reporting the case to the police and having the lawyer file a lawsuit simultaneously is possible.

This involves the police handling the criminal case and the lawyer waiting to become a joint plaintiff with the public prosecutor in the criminal prosecution.

In this scenario, the lawyer will coordinate with the police and file a lawsuit to claim damages against the individual who posted the defamation.

Defamation cases, what is the fine?

The offense of defamation according to the Penal Code carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to 1 year, or a fine of up to 20,000 baht, or both.

In the initial stages, if you claim damages at the police investigation level and the opposing party does not agree, the case may proceed to a criminal prosecution and court proceedings.

It depends on you to prove how much damage you have suffered and how. If the person who has been defamed is reputable or runs a business that relies on credibility, the damages claimed can be substantial. However, ultimately, it’s up to the discretion of the court.

Importantly, in civil lawsuits, you must prove the damages claimed. If unable to prove, the court may award an amount it deems reasonable. Thus, the court may order payment ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 baht.

Damage to one’s reputation is?

The offense of defamation under Thai law is stipulated in the Thai Criminal Code, Article 326, which reads as follows.

Article 326: “Whoever imputes anything to another person before a third person, in a manner likely to impair the reputation of such other person or to expose such other person to hatred or contempt, is said to commit defamation, and shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one year or fined not exceeding 20,000 Baht, or both.”

A defamation case by means of speech is?

Defamation refers to disparagement, defamation, embarrassment, causing harm, inciting hatred, insulting, or vilifying. As for cases involving vulgar or indecent language, insults, curses, threats, intimidation, provocative language, commendatory remarks, in normal discourse, these are not considered defamation.

Defamation can occur through speech, gestures, or advertisements. To constitute defamation under Article 393 of the Penal Code, it must involve defaming others directly or through advertising. Here they are:

To defame someone directly” must involve the intention to belittle, disparage, embarrass, harm, incite hatred, insult, or vilify, which is detrimental to others’ feelings.

It can be done through speech or gestures, with the intent to undermine others’ dignity. It requires the use of words or gestures that are defamatory to others, made instantly apparent during the act, such as insulting someone by saying, “Stupid policeman,” “Buffalo face,” “Immoral woman,” or “Idiot,” for instance.

The offense of advertising is?

According to Section 328 of the Penal Code, if the offense of defamation is committed through advertising using documents, drawings, paintings, films, images, or letters displayed in any way, audio recordings, visual recordings, or written recordings, disseminated through sound, images, or other means of announcement, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment for up to two years and a fine of up to two hundred thousand baht.

The offense of defamation committed through advertising carries a higher penalty than ordinary defamation. Advertising involves expressing information to the public similarly to defamation, but it must specifically reach a wide audience without limitation to any particular individual. Advertising can be carried out in various ways, such as:

  1. Documents: Refers to advertising through paper or any other material that presents information through letters, numbers, charts, or other forms, whether printed, photographed, such as writing on paper, writing defamatory messages on a dog, or on a wall, are considered documents. Drawings, paintings, or written images are also included.
  2. Films: For example, creating a movie about someone’s life in a defamatory manner.
  3. Letters or E-mail
  4. Audio recordings, tapes, radio broadcasts, television
  5. Additionally, advertising can be done through images, singing, acting, and so on.

Article by Kroek Lawyer

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