As some of you already know, on December 17th I was awoken by a task force of four angry-looking police officers and a pushy translator, waving a warrant and badges in my face, demanding entry into my home. I wasn't even dressed, just barely robed. They barked for me to sit on my bed as they ransacked my home, tearing through it in the search for marijuana. I could have easily been thrown into jail and deported, if anything had been found, but they didn't find anything. I've never had any troubles with the law before and I didn't know my rights, so I believed that I had to comply when they told me I had to go with them. I said no numerous times, but they insisted. They took me to the police precinct where they continued their interrogation, made me pee in a cup, and took 100 hairs from my head.
The next day, I went to the Seoul Global Center to speak to the lawyer that is available there for consultation. He assured me that there were many ways in which the police most likely overstepped their legal rights (the hair and urine being the most obvious) and that I should have hope. I knew I needed a lawyer to help me through this legal system that is entirely foreign to me. I did some shopping around to see what I could find. Most lawyers cost between 5.5 - 11 million won (approx. $ 4,850- 9,700) up front, and regardless of outcome. I was very fortunate that the lawyer from the Seoul Global Center offered to take me on at a discounted rate of 3.3 million won (~ $2,900). However, In order to do that, I needed help, and fast. Thankfully, a few friends were able to pitch in with some loans and between us, we were able to get the funds together to hire my lawyer.
It has been four months and this investigation has dragged on. During that time, I've had to go in to be "interviewed" three times over. The second time I went into the police station with my lawyer, I found out who was responsible for this whole thing, and I truly could not believe it. The police told me it was my ex-boyfriend who had come in and reported all of this. He made up bold-faced lies in order to incriminate me. I did not believe them and made them tell me his name. There was no way that a person I had been so close to... who was still supposedly my friend...who had been brought into our community!...There was no way he or anyone, for that matter, could do such a thing. But, he did. I now I know it to be absolutely true.
Throughout this time, I have been working as much as I can, taking on additional jobs when possible, in order to repay the loans and get ready for whatever additional consequences that lie ahead. I renegotiated my contract for more working hours, housing, and benefits, hoping this would help me repay the loans faster, but unfortunately, that did very little to help me monthly. I have my court date looming on the horizon, which could mean a number of outcomes. I asked my lawyer for the best/worst case scenario and this is what he had to say, "The best scenario is not guilty verdict, of course. And the worst is likely to be the suspension of imprisonment sentence, which means you don’t go to jail, but the chance of being deported gets high. Between the best and the worst, such things are also possible like getting fines and deportation or getting fines but not deportation. The amount of fines would be like a few millions."
I am facing some daunting possibilities. I have been saving up as much as possible to pay my friends back what they gave to help me hire my lawyer, but with pending costs and, (god-forbid) deportation, on the horizon, I need help. Please donate if you are able. As you know, every little bit helps. If you are not able to, I completely understand. I am incredibly grateful for this community we have here. I can't imagine having to go through all of this alone. Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for being my friend and helping out in whatever way you can.
(A note on methods of funding: Due to Korea's restrictions over crowdfunding, PayPal is the best method to get funds to me through this campaign. There is an option to use a credit or bank card through this site, but twelve percent is taken out. If you want to contribute, but prefer to transfer directly, please feel free to contact me via FB messenger (Amber Green), Kakao (amberlicious78), or email ([email protected]).)