Arrest and Detention as a Suspect of Crime

Arrest and Detention in Korea: What Foreigners Should Know

Navigating the Korean Criminal Justice System: A Criminal Defense Attorney’s Guide

Arrest and Detention in Korea: What Foreigners Should Know

Are you a foreigner facing criminal charges in Korea? Gain valuable insight into the Korean criminal justice system and learn how a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you navigate this complex process.

Korean Criminal Defense Attorney’s letter

If you break the laws in Korea, you are subject to the judicial system of Korea. Unfortunately, being a foreigner or not knowing the law cannot be allowed as an excuse. Korean law can be significantly different from that of your home country. Seeking legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer in Korea is essential and very important.

It would be stressful if you get arrested or detained in Korea. So here’s brief information about arrest and detention from a criminal defense attorney in Korea.

One can be arrested by Korean Police officers, officers in prosecution, or other agencies authorized by the law. If you go through an investigation or get arrested, those authorities may demand you provide them personal information such as your passport or travel documents.

Korean criminal law applies to Korean citizens and foreigners who have committed crimes on Korean territory. You can see the article on Korean Criminal Act.

Korean Criminal Act Article 2 (Domestic Crimes)  This Act shall apply to both Korean nationals and aliens who commit crimes in the territory of the Republic of Korea.

Based on the criminal defense attorney in Korea’s experiences, if you are not a permanent or long-term resident of Korea, investigative authorities would likely keep you in detention or under arrest throughout the investigation process. The purpose of it is to prevent a suspect from leaving the country, especially if you are allegedly done serious crimes like felonies, but sometimes when it’s not, to foreigners, it happened. But if you are a permanent or long-term resident of Korea who has more relations to Korea, you are less likely to be detained during the investigation.

Arrest and Detention as a Suspect of Crime


Still, if a police or prosecutor find that there’s any possibility of evidence tampering, you still can be detained until the case is closed.

If you have to go through the investigation with being detained, it’s better to have criminal defense expert attorney as earliest as possible. Because, with language barrier and being foreigner, it would be difficult to understand what exactly going on with you in criminal investigation in Korea. And in deprivation of freedom, your defense strategy would be bound to be limited in ways such as losing the opportunity to gather evidence in you favor. As Criminal defense attorneys in Korea who represent and defend numerous foreigners in criminal cases in Korea, we understand how important attorney’s roles in criminal case.

You might ever heard of legal saying, “Not guilty until it’s proved”, or “The presumption of innocence”. Yes, you are. Korean Criminal Law has the article about it.

Korean Criminal Act. Article 275-2 (Presumption of Innocence)

The criminal defendant shall be presumed to be innocent until he/she is finally adjudged to be guilty.

But, to be honest, in criminal defense attorney in Korea’s experiences, when a suspect arrested or detained under Korean criminal law, you may be arrested and detained, it conveys the impression to the court that you’re guilty already. Because before being found guilty, one shall be arrested or detained when the investigative authorities believe there is enough evidence to justify detention or prove criminal charges.

It’s not allowed to arrest or detain a suspect without specific standards. Arrest and detention are permitted only if the legal requirements are met. When you hire criminal expert attorney, the attorney will and shall look into your case file to check if there’s any violation of due process, to free you.

Lee&Lee’s attorneys are Korean Bar Association certified criminal defense attorneys and are specialist in criminal cases. Will bring the best criminal defense strategy for you.

To learn Legal requirements for Arrest and Detention -> Click

To learn about Criminal case Procedures in Korea-> Click

Lee & Lee law office’s english speaking lawyers provide clients with the highest quality representation

SEOUL, Gangnam Office (Korea) | Kristen Y. LEE
2F, 27-6, 162 Gangnam-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


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