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How Long Does A Criminal Record Last In South Africa?

How Long Does A Criminal Record Last In South Africa?

What Constitutes a Criminal Record in South Africa?
What Constitutes a Criminal Record in South Africa?

What Is A Criminal Record?

A person’s criminal past is documented in a criminal record, police record, or RAP sheet (Record of Arrests and Prosecutions) sheet. A criminal record’s existence and the data it contains differ between nations and even between jurisdictions within a single nation. It typically includes a record of all criminal offenses that have not been expunged, as well as possible traffic offenses like drunk driving and speeding. In some nations, the record only contains actual convictions (where the person has pled guilty or been found guilty by an appropriate court, resulting in the entry of a conviction), but in others, it also contains arrests, charges that have been dropped or are still pending, as well as charges for which the person has been found not guilty.

What In South Africa Is A Criminal Record?

A criminal record is the official record of the offenses you have been found guilty of, whether you pled guilty or not, according to SAPS Captain Thinandavha Lufhugu. It won’t appear on your record if you were found not guilty.

Checking Criminal History In South Africa

A police clearance certificate or a certificate of good conduct are other names for it. It costs R114,00 to apply for this at your neighborhood SAPS police station. Your identifying documents (ID/passport) are required. Your certificate will be prepared fifteen working days after they have taken your fingerprints after you have completely filled out the application form.

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How Much Time Does A Criminal Background Check Take In South Africa?

If no evidence of illegal conduct is found, the service provider immediately provides the applicant with the report. If any illegal behavior is discovered, the SAPS will conduct the investigation and deliver the necessary information on the illicit activity in three to four weeks.

What Does Having A Criminal Record Expunged Mean?

The criminal history of a convicted offender is expunged from the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service’s database of criminal records. Once they have access to these options, they can apply for visas, get specific work, and more.

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Getting A Criminal Record Erased in South Africa

One must wait 10 years after the date of their conviction in order to be eligible to have their records wiped. It is doubtful that a criminal record from before 10 years will be expunged. Additionally, within those 10 years, the applicant should not have received a conviction and a jail sentence without the possibility of a fine.

These are the sentences that permit one to submit an expungement application.

  • Physical restraint
  • The sentence was delayed, or the defendant received a warning before being released.
  • Maximum fine: R20,000 imprisonment with a chance to avoid serving the required time by paying a fine
  • The entire sentence was suspended
  • In accordance with section 276(1)(h) of the Act, correctional supervision
  • In accordance with section 276(1)(i), imprisonment Periodic incarceration in accordance with section 276(1)(c) of the Act

An applicant won’t be accepted under the following conditions:

  • The 10-year mark following the conviction date has not passed.
  • More than R20,000 in fines were levied.
  • His or her name is included on either the National Child Protection Register or the National Register for Sex Offenders, and it hasn’t been taken off of either list.
  • During the relevant ten years, the petitioner was given a direct prison term, meaning that there was no possibility of a suspended sentence or a fine.
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How Long Does A Criminal Record Last In South Africa

Before submitting an expungement application, you will need to gather a few necessary papers. A police clearance certificate is the first. Ten years after the conviction(s) and sentence should be the date of issuance (s). You would also require proof that your name has been removed from the National Register for Sex Offenses or the National Child Protection Register if you had been found guilty of a sexual offense. After a period of 10 years has passed after the date of the conviction for that offense, you may submit an application to have your criminal record erased. During those ten years, you have not been found guilty and given a prison term without the possibility of a fine.

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