What Should I do if I Receive a Korean Summons for a Criminal Investigation in Korea?

CAN KOREAN POLICE ISSUE AND ENFORCE A SUMMONS EVEN WHEN THE SUSPECT RESIDES ABROAD?

Yes. The Korean Criminal Procedure Law applies to foreigners who have committed crimes within Korea as well as those who have committed crimes against residents of Korea while residing outside of Korea. Upon suspicion of a crime, the Korean police and Korean prosecution may move to demand the foreign suspect to attend an investigation in Korea. Thus, typically, the Korean Prosecution Services issues a summons. The summons may be issued for a suspect residing in Korea or residing abroad.

Recently, our office saw cases where foreign resident employees of foreign companies doing business in Korea were called in by the Korean police in relation to its Korean subsidiary’s business or their actions when they resided in Korea. In these cases, non-Korean nationals were summoned to appear in Korea for questioning.

DO I HAVE TO COMPLY WITH THE SUMMONS?

Since a foreign country is not within the domain of Korea’s criminal jurisdiction, the Korean authorities are unable to do anything to compel your attendance without the assistance of the country where you reside, however, non-compliance can lead to extradition to Korea or being tried in absentia (tried without being present in court) and then extradition to Korea to serve the sentence.

IPG Legal, this past year, handled an extradition matter from the United States to Korea for a person that was tried in absentia in a Korean court. For an article on this matter please see: IPG Legal Thwarts the Korean Government’s Attempt to Extradite an American Former Military Service Member to South Korea.

We recommend, in all cases concerning an investigation for a crime in Korea to, immediately, hire a Proactive Korean Criminal Defense Attorney.

To schedule a call with a Korean criminal defense lawyer please: Schedule a Call with a Korean Criminal Defense Lawyer.

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