Committing Crime as a Foreigner
Sometimes, you make a mistake. It may be an honest mistake or it could be a deliberate action that you regret. But it is not fair to get your opportunity taken away because of your one mistake. This does not mean that you will not suffer any consequences for your action. It means that you will get a reasonable punishment for your wrongdoing.
If you are living in Korea as a foreigner, the immigration office expects you to obey the laws and policies in Korea. As you may already know, the immigration office is not exactly forgiving. That is why you need someone to defend you.
It is easy to commit crimes if you are in a bad situation. The frustration from discrimination or ill-treatment may drive you to commit violent crimes. Or you are so desperate for money that you scam other people. There may be a reason for your crime, but you still need to be held responsible for your action. However, it would also be unfair to receive disproportionately large punishment for a small crime.
Let's think of a hypothetical scenario. You and your friend gets into a fight. Both parties were at fault and you do a major damage to your relationship. Although your friend may have hit you first and your injuries were more severe, you are charged with an assault charge. You tried to explain your situation to the police, but they don't care to listen to you. Next day, you get summoned to the immigration office and you receive a deportation order.
This is a completely hypothetical, but can you tell me that this won't happen to you? Because you are a foreigner, the stake is much higher for you. For committing a crime that could have ended with a simple fine and some community service hours, you lose your place in Korea. However, this is not all gloomy and dark. This can be prevented.
When you are accused of a crime, the first thing you should do is contacting an immigration lawyer. They can help you reduce your sentence and prevent you from getting deportation. But it is much more likely for them to succeed if you contact them as soon as the crime happens. The earlier you call, the more likely that you will have a lesser punishment.
Overstaying in Korea is also a crime. If you have ran out of your permitted time, you need to leave Korea, or renew/extend your visa. Choosing to stay in Korea without a valid visa is a crime. As a criminal, you cant live a regular life. You are in a vulnerable place where you can easily be cheated or abused.
But you don't have to stay as an illegal immigrant forever. You can change your status to a legal immigrant if you meet some qualification. Of course there is a fine depending on the length of your stay.
Just like after committing a crime, you want to contact an immigration lawyer as soon as you can. Otherwise, the fine will only get higher and your chance of staying in Korea gets abysmally lower.