Self-Defense under Korean Criminal Law

Self-Defense in Korea: How to Stand Your Ground Legally

Caught in a Fight in Korea? Unravel Your Defense Strategy Now!

Self-Defense in Korea: How to Stand Your Ground Legally

Unexpectedly caught up in a brawl in Korea? Don’t let confusion about the law keep you in the dark. Let the certified criminal defense attorneys at Lee&Lee illuminate the complexities of Korean self-defense laws. Equip yourself with knowledge and fight back legally. Stay informed, stay protected


Korean Criminal defense attorney’s letter

You can unexpectedly get caught up in a fight during your stay or residence in Korea. Imagine a drunk person from the table behind you in a restaurant coming out swinging. An ill-mannered passer-by picking a fight for no reason. Would you like to get a defense attorney? If you get in a fight with someone or attack the person who assaults you, will it be recognized as self-defense under Korean criminal law? If you’re seeking a criminal defense lawyer in Korea, you may want to explore to figure out what your defense strategies can be.

Self defense under Korean criminal law

When it comes to an assault, a criminal defense attorney reviews your case and checks if it can be self-defense or not. Criminal Act Article 21, Self-defense is an act to prevent impending and unjust infringement of one’s own or another person’s legal interest. One’s behavior is recognized as self-defense if reasonable grounds exist. Self-defense should not include an active counterattack. When a preventive act has exceeded normal limits, the punishment may be mitigated or remitted according to the extenuating circumstances.

 The criminal defense attorney in Korea is well aware of the Korean court’s standards about it. According to Korean Supreme Court, to be recognized as self-defense, you must not attack someone first, and you must not provoke the fight or induce someone to attack you. Your defense should not be more violent than the assault of the one you are fighting with. You must not use a weapon, and the damage the other person got must not require more than three weeks of treatment. Defense outside this range is difficult to be recognized as self-defense.  There are some cases in which attacking is considered self-defense. If the attack is one-sided, and the one getting attacked is only passively fighting back, it might be regarded as self-defense even if it’s a fight between the two. In conclusion, your defense might not always be considered self-defense, you should defend yourself as passively as possible when you get in a fight with someone.


If you unexpectedly get caught up in a fight and find yourself being a suspect or criminal defendant in Korea, you need the best legal representation and defense for yourself. Lee&Lee’s attorneys are Korean Bar Association certified criminal defense attorneys and are specialists in criminal cases.


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SEOUL, Gangnam Office (Korea) | Kristen Y. LEE
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