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ACT ON THE LAPSE OF CRIMINAL SENTENCES

Act No. 3281, Dec. 18, 1980

Amended by Act No. 3736, Jul. 30, 1984

Act No. 3993, Dec. 4, 1987

Act No. 4369, May 31, 1991

Act No. 4569, Aug. 5, 1993

Act No. 4591, Dec. 10, 1993

Act No. 4704, Jan. 5, 1994

Act No. 6747, Dec. 5, 2002

Act No. 7624, Jul. 29, 2005

Act No. 8435, May 17, 2007

Act No. 8891, Mar. 14, 2008

Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010

Act No. 11849, jun. 4, 2013

Act No. 13457, Aug. 11, 2015

Act No. 15258, Dec. 19, 2017

 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to set out standards regarding the administration of previous criminal records and investigation record materials, and the invalidation of punishment, thereby ensuring a normal social rehabilitation for ex-convicts.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The definitions of terms used in this Act shall be as follows:
1. The term "convict" means a person who has been sentenced to punishments provided for in Article 41 of the Criminal Act;
2. The term "convict list" means a list which includes records of convicts sentenced to suspension of qualifications or heavier punishment, administered by prosecutors' offices or military prosecution chambers;
3. The term "convict plates" means plates of convicts sentenced to suspension of qualifications or heavier punishment, which is administered by Si/Gu/Eup/Myeon offices having jurisdiction over the convicts' place of registration;
4. The term "investigation materials card" means a card (including those whose contents are saved in and administered by the computer system or recorded and stored in magnetic tapes, microfilms, or other similar means) which contains personal data, facts of suspicion, etc. of criminal suspects, including their fingerprints taken by investigation authorities, shall be administered by the National Police Agency;
5. The term "criminal record materials" means materials falling under any of the following items among from investigation materials cards:
(a) Sentence, remission, or suspended sentence of a fine or heavier punishment;
(b) Care and custody, in-custody treatment and protective supervision;
(c) Lapse of suspended sentence;
(d) Revocation of suspension of execution;
(e) Sentence or disposition of confiscation, additional charge, social service order, order to complete education, etc. imposed together with punishment of a fine or heavier punishment;
6. The term "investigation record materials" means materials of records, among those entered in the materials of investigation cards, involving the sentence of punishment less severe than a fine, non-prosecution disposition by a prosecutor, and other similar dispositions, excluding criminal record materials;
7. The term "criminal records" means convict lists, convict plates, and criminal record materials;
8. The term "inquiry about criminal records" means inquiry made by means of inspecting and checking by comparing (including inspecting and checking by comparing information and communications networks) convict lists or computerized materials on criminal records regarding their personal data and criminal records;
9. The term "inquiry about investigation records" means inquiry about the personal identities and investigation records by means of inspecting and checking by comparing (including inspecting and checking by comparing through information and communications networks) computerized materials on investigation records.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 3 (Convict Lists)
When a judgement which has sentenced suspension of qualifications or heavier punishment becomes final and conclusive, district prosecutors' offices or their branch offices and general prosecution chambers shall record the convict on convict lists without delay.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 4 (Convict Plates)
(1) District prosecutors' offices and their branch offices and general prosecution chambers shall make convict plates of convicts who have been sentenced to suspension of qualifications or more severe punishment, and send them to Si/Gu/Eup/Myeon offices having jurisdiction over the convicts' place of registration.
(2) In cases falling under any of the following subparagraphs, district prosecutors' offices and their branch offices and general prosecution chambers shall notify the government offices to which they have sent convict lists of the sending:
1. When a suspension of execution is invalidated or revoked;
2. When a period of suspension of execution expires;
3. When a punishment is invalidated in accordance with Article 7 of this Act or Article 81 of the Criminal Act;
4. When an amnesty, reduction of punishment, or reinstatement of rights is granted;
5. When there is a new trial according to a decision on the commencement of a retrial.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 5 (Investigation Materials Card)
(1) Judicial police officers shall make a investigation materials card regarding criminal suspects and send them to the National Police Agency: Provided, That this shall not apply where criminal suspects fall under any of the following subparagraphs:
1. Persons subject to summary trial;
2. Suspects against whom judicial police officers receive complaints or accusations but the prosecutor's office decides not to indict.
(2) The scope of judicial police officers responsible for making the investigation card materials shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 5-2 (Management, etc. of Investigation Materials Card)
(1) The Commissioner General of the National Police Agency shall designate persons responsible for the preservation and management of investigation card materials.
(2) The Commissioner General of the National Police Agency shall enter into the computer system the details of a investigation materials card by dividing them into criminal record materials and investigation record materials, and administer them.
(3) When making a reply regarding inquiries about criminal record materials or investigation record materials, the purpose of use, names of the maker and inquirer of the materials, and date and time of preparation thereof and any other necessary matters shall be described in detail.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 6 (Inquiry into Criminal Records and Investigation Records, and Restrictions on Reply Thereto, etc.)
(1) An inquiry into criminal records and investigation records, based on investigation materials cards, and the reply thereto may be made with respect to such records in whole or in part within the minimum scope deemed necessary for the purpose of such inquiry if it falls under any of the following subparagraphs: <Amended by Act No. 11849, Jun. 4, 2013; Act No. 13457, Aug. 11, 2015; Act No. 15258, Dec. 19, 2017>
1. Where it is necessary to conduct a criminal investigation or a trial;
2. Where it is necessary to execute punishment or an order to render social services or to attend a lecture;
3. Where it is necessary to execute a protective order or custodial surveillance order, such as protective custody, medical treatment and custody, and probation;
4. Where it is requested by the person himself/herself to confirm the details of investigation material cards or to enter or stay in a foreign country;
5. Where the background check is conducted based on Presidential Decree with regard to security affairs prescribed in Article 3 (2) of the National Intelligence Service Korea Act;
6. Where it is necessary to permit a foreigner to naturalize, to restore his/her nationality, or to stay in the country;
7. Where it is necessary to admit cadets, or to appoint officers, warrant officers, noncommissioned officers and civilian personnel in the military service and to select candidates for such positions;
8. Where it is necessary to enlist military personnel on active duty or public interest service personnel in relation to the imposition of compulsory military service;
9. Where it is necessary to verify the grounds for disqualification for appointment as a public official, for authorization or permission, decoration, Presidential commendation, or Prime Minister's commendation, etc., the specific grounds for disciplinary punishment of a public official against whom a disciplinary procedure has started (limited to reference to criminal records and the reply thereto) or the reasons for restrictions, etc. on the payment of annuity to public officials, which are prescribed in other statutes;
10. Where other Acts allow inquiry to be made about criminal records and investigation records and replies to be made thereto.
(2) A person who is in charge of managing investigation material cards, or refers to criminal records or investigation records based on investigation material cards in the course of performing their official duties shall not disclose the details thereof.
(3) No person shall obtain criminal records data or investigation records data for purposes other than those provided for in paragraph (1).
(4) Persons who receive replies to inquiries regarding criminal record materials or investigation record materials according to paragraph (1), or obtain such data shall not use them for any purpose except as provided for in the statutes.
(5) Detailed scope of inquiry about criminal records and investigation records under each subparagraph of paragraph (1) and of a reply thereto shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 7 (Invalidation of Punishment)
(1) Where the period of the following subparagraphs elapses from the date when the execution of punishment is completed or exempted without being sentenced to suspension of qualifications or more severe punishment, the punishment shall be invalidated: Provided, That misdemeanor imprisonment and minor fines shall be invalidated when the execution of punishment is completed or exempted:
1. In cases of imprisonment with or without labor of more than three years: Ten years;
2. In cases of imprisonment with or without labor of not more than three years: Five years;
3. In cases of a fine: Two years.
(2) Where several punishments are sentenced by a judgement, the sentence of punishments shall be invalidated when the period of paragraph (1) elapses for the severest punishment from the date on which the execution of each punishment is completed or exempted: Provided, That in applying paragraphs (1) 1 and 2, imprisonment with or without labor shall be deemed as the same punishment and each term of punishment shall be summed together.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 8 (Arrangement of Convict List and Convict Plate)
(1) Where it falls under any of the following subparagraphs, the relevant column on the convict list shall be deleted, and the convict plate shall be discarded:
1. When the relevant punishment has been invalidated in accordance with Article 7 of this Act, or Article 81 of the Criminal Act;
2. When the period for the suspension of execution of the punishment has elapsed;
3. When the period for the suspension of qualifications has elapsed;
4. When a general pardon, or a special pardon which repeals the sentence of punishment, or a reinstatement of rights is granted.
(2) The methods, etc. to delete the relevant column on the convict list under paragraph (1) shall be determined by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 8-2 (Arrangement of Investigation Record Materials)
(1) Where it falls under any of the following subparagraphs, the relevant matters in the computerized investigation record materials shall be deleted when the relevant keeping period pursuant to the classifications set forth in each subparagraph of paragraphs (2) and (3) has elapsed:
1. Where the prosecutor renders a non-prosecution disposition of being cleared of suspicion, having no authority to file indictment, or suspension of indictment;
2. Where the judgment of being not guilty, or acquittal or rejection of a prosecution by the court becomes final and conclusive;
3. Where the decision of the court for rejection of a prosecution becomes final and conclusive.
(2) The periods for keeping investigation record materials with respect to any subparagraph of paragraph (1) shall be pursuant to the classifications set forth in each of the following subparagraphs. In this case, the period shall start to be reckoned from the date on which the relevant disposition is rendered, or decision or judgement becomes final and conclusive:
1. For a crime corresponding to a statutory penalty of capital punishment, life imprisonment with or without labor, or imprisonment with or without labor for a long term of ten or more years: Ten years;
2. For a crime corresponding to a statutory punishment of imprisonment with or without labor for a long term of two or more years: Five years;
3. For a crime corresponding to a statutory punishment of imprisonment with or without prison labor for a long term of less than two years, loss or suspension of qualifications, fines, misdemeanor imprisonment or minor fine: Immediate deletion: Provided, That where a disposition of suspension of indictment under paragraph (1) 1 is rendered, or a judgement or decision under paragraph (1) 2 or 3 is passed or made, the period for keeping shall be five years.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), the period of keeping investigation record materials on juveniles under Article 2 of the Juvenile Act at the time when a disposition under paragraph (1) was made or when a judgement or decision under paragraph (1) became final and conclusive shall be pursuant to the classifications set forth in each of the following subparagraphs:
1. In cases of a non-prosecution disposition based on the suspension of indictment: Three years from the date of such disposition;
2. In cases of a non-prosecution disposition based on being cleared of suspicion, having no right of arraignment, or non-constitution of a crime under paragraph (1) 1: Until the time such disposition is taken;
3. In cases of a judgement under paragraph (1) 2 or a decision under paragraph (1) 3: Until when the judgement or decision becomes final and conclusive.
(4) The method to delete the relevant matters in investigation record materials under paragraph (1) shall be determined by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 8-3 (Submission of Materials, and Request for Correction)
(1) If the Minister of Justice deems it necessary to improve the affairs related to the custody and management of, or inquiry about previous criminal records or investigation record materials, or to correct illegal or unfair matters, he/she may request the head of the agency in charge of the affairs of the custody and management of or reference to criminal records or investigation record materials to submit the related materials, such as the ledger of inquiries and replies. In such cases, the head of the agency who has received the request to submit such materials shall comply with it unless any special ground exists otherwise.
(2) When the Minister of Justice has found any matter requiring an improvement or correction after an examination of the materials submitted under paragraph (1), he/she may require the head of the said agency to take a necessary measure, such as a correction.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 9 (Penalty Provisions)
(1) When a person who is in charge of managing previous criminal records materials or investigation records materials commits any of the following acts in return for illicit favors, he/she shall be sentenced to imprisonment with labor for a limited term of up to one year:
1. An act which damages or conceals previous criminal records materials or investigation records materials or undermines their utility in other ways;
2. An act which records falsely the details of previous criminal records materials or investigation records materials or alters the details thereof without justifiable grounds;
3. An act which falsely records the details of matters to be proven based on previous criminal records or investigation records materials.
(2) Persons who have committed any of the following acts with regard to documents necessary to prepare criminal records materials or investigation records materials shall receive the same sentence as those prescribed in paragraph (1):
1. Act of undermining the utility thereof by damage or concealment thereof or other means;
2. Act of making a false entry or changing the details thereof.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 10 (Penalty Provisions)
(1) Any person who replies to, or divulges, the details of investigation materials cards in violation of Article 6 (1) or (2) shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for up to five years or a fine not exceeding 50 million won.
(2) Persons who obtain criminal records materials or investigation records materials in violation of Article 6 (3) shall be sentenced to imprisonment with labor for not more than two years or a fine not exceeding 20 million won.
(3) Persons who use criminal records materials and investigation records materials in violation of Article 6 (4) shall receive the same punishment as those prescribed in paragraph (2).
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010]
 Article 11 Deleted. <by Act No. 6747, Dec. 5, 2002>
ADDENDA
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 (Clearance of Unclear Dispositions on Investigation Materials Card)
Unclear dispositions among investigation materials cards drawn up before December 31, 1970 shall be cleared up as having a final disposition to be cleared of suspicion simultaneously with the enforcement of this Act: Provided, That this shall not apply where the result of dispositions is proved after the enforcement of this Act.
Article 3 (Destruction of Convict Plates as Non-Administration Objects under this Act)
Convict plates which are not objects for administration as provided in this Act shall be regarded as destroyed at the time when this Act enters into force.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 3736, Jul. 30, 1984>
This Act shall enter into force on September 1, 1984.
ADDENDA <Act No. 3993, Dec. 4, 1987>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on February 25, 1988.
Articles 2 through 4 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 4369, May 31, 1991>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force 60 days after the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 6 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 4569, Aug. 5, 1993>
This Act shall enter into force 30 days after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 4591, Dec. 10, 1993>
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 1994.
ADDENDA <Act No. 4704, Jan. 5, 1994>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on July 1, 1994.
Articles 2 through 4 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 6747, Dec. 5, 2002>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Applicability to Deletion of Materials of Investigation Records) With respect to persons against whom the disposition, ruling, or judgment became final and conclusive under subparagraphs of Article 8 (2) prior to the enforcement of this Act, the provisions of Article 8 (2) and (3) shall apply.
ADDENDA <Act No. 7624, Jul. 29, 2005>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Applicability to Materials of Investigation Records in Custody) The amended provisions of Article 8-2 shall apply to the materials of investigation records which have been computerized and kept in custody before the enforcement of this Act.
ADDENDA <Act No. 8435, May 17, 2007>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 2008. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 9 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 8891, Mar. 14, 2008>
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 10211, Mar. 31, 2010>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA <Act No. 11849, Jun. 4, 2013>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 7 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 13457, Aug. 11, 2015>
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 15258, Dec. 19, 2017>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.