[Q&A] Employee’s Act of Adultery and Its Legal Implication to the Employer under Korean Law

We’ve been asked about a criminal charge against an adultery under Korean criminal law quite often.  Foreign employees in Korean should be cautious that adultery is a crime under Korean law.  Here is a real example of such a case where a foreign officer committed an adultery and the company(employer)’s legal concern made them ask for some legal consultation to our law firm regarding the adultery law and criminal law process in Korea.

Q) Mr. XX, who is a head director of our company, committed an adultery and was charged by the Korean prosecutor.  He has confessed his guilty and the prosecutor demanded one year’s imprisonment for his crime to the court.  If the court finalizes that Mr. XX is guilty, does that mean Mr. XX will be imprisonment for one year or lesser?

A) Finding guilty does not always mean Mr. XX will be imprisoned.  The Court may SUSPEND the imprisonment for certain years even though Mr. XX is guilty.  The Korean Criminal Act provides that a married person who commits adultery shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years.  However, the Act also provides the execution of the sentence for an adultery can be suspended for a period of not less than one year but not more than five years.  Moreover, in recent adultery cases, Korean Court tends to hand down a suspended imprisonment sentence more frequently than non-suspended sentence as long as the accused has never committed a crime before and he or she confesses and reflects on his crime sincerely.

Q) Were there any past cases convicted guilty and imprisoned?  Can you quote me a few cases?

A) Yes, so many cases.  However, as I mentioned above, recently there are even more cases of suspended imprisonment.

If you have any question about an adultery in Korea, please visit our Legal Consultation center or send your inquiry email by clicking here.  Our Korean licensed lawyers, not a U.S. lawyer residing in Korea, will answer your inquiry.

© Wonil Chung.  All rights reserved. 

1 Comment

  1. thank you so much attorney for answering my question. It’s a big help for us non-Koreans to know your existing law.

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