Criminal Cases of Non-Japanese

  • Mr. X who has Chinese citizenship was arrested by Chuo Police Station of the Metropolitan Police Department on suspicion of illegal stay…
  • Mr. Y from Mexico was arrested and detained at Suginami Police Station of the Metropolitan Police Department on allegations of violation of the Cannabis Control Act…


1. Criminal Cases of Non-Japanese

When a non-Japanese person has committed a crime, the role of a counsel is basically the same as in the case of Japanese.

However, in the cases of non-Japanese, what needs considerable attentions is linguistic and cultural differences. Having enough communication with the suspect / accused is considered vital to do defense. The problem resulting from linguistic difference may sometimes have fatal impact on defense activities. The cultural difference also cannot be overlooked. Most of them do not understand Japanese criminal procedure. They might be confused about the difference from the procedure of their country or cultural difference. Lawyers need to explain the flow and features of Japanese criminal procedure and pay attention to foreign suspects / accused to calm their uneasy feelings.


2. Features of Criminal Cases of Non-Japanese

Any special communication is not needed in case where the suspect or accused is a non-Japanese. However, a due consideration is required to the problems arising from cultural and linguistic difference.

The criminal procedure is basically carried out in Japanese and, in principle, all submitted evidence is required to translate into Japanese. Given that daily conversations greatly differ from legal terms, a professional interpreter should be asked to translate foreign languages into Japanese, and vice versa, to avoid causing misunderstanding.

In adds, in criminal cases of non-Japanese, the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act becomes a problem. For instance, speaking in relation to resident status, when overstayed during physical restraint due to arrest and detention, a non-Japanese would be sent to immigration authorities and the deportation procedure would be carried out after termination of the criminal proceedings. In this case, it is necessary to renew the resident status.

As seen above, that it is necessary to keep in mind the cultural and linguistic difference and the resident status are cited as problems specific to criminal cases of non-Japanese. Lawyers need to do defense activities paying attention to these features in dealing with criminal cases of non-Japanese.

AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm has been carrying out defense activities specializing in criminal and juvenile cases. Thus, we also have rich experience in dealing with criminal cases of non-Japanese.


3. Problems in terms of Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act

In criminal cases of non-Japanese, the party in interest and his/her family worry whether he/she can stay in Japan aftertime. As mentioned above, problems relating to resident status always arise as far as the suspect or accused is a non-Japanese. Not only paying attention to the limit of duration of stay but also keeping in mind the case where a result of criminal trial would have a direct impact on resident status are required.

The Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act provides under which circumstance a non-Japanese could be deported (so called, forced repatriation). In principle, a non-Japanese may be deported if he/she has been sentenced to prison sentence for more than one year. However, regarding drug cases not only prison sentence but also suspended sentence could be the grounds of deportation, and where directly having involved into prostitution business or human trafficking, the person concerned could be immediately deported without criminal trial proceedings. The grounds of deportation vary depending on the type of resident status. For example, a non-Japanese whose resident status is designated activities may be deported if sentenced with imprisonment with or without work (including suspended sentence).

In adds, there are various cases that the non-Japanese could be deported. The Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act regulating the relation to the resident status is complicated to the ordinary Japanese so should be more difficult to understand for non-Japanese.

Lawyers will deal with those complicated problems in appropriate way in response to clients’ circumstances.


~Points of Defense Activities in Criminal Cases of Foreigners~

In criminal cases of non-Japanese, problems in terms of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act always arise in relation to the resident status. If you worry about a criminal case of non-Japanese, it is important to consult with lawyers and receive appropriate defense activities and explanations. After asking for hope of the person in question whether he/she wants to stay in Japan or not, lawyers explain the future prospect and supports.

You can receive the best advice from lawyers who are good at dealing with criminal cases of non-Japanese at AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm. Lawyers specializing in criminal and juvenile cases personally provide with “the free consultation”. We also provide for “the first interview service” that our lawyers go to a detention facility where the suspect is detained to have an interview, at the shortest on the day.




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