You can apply for expungement of your criminal record provided you meet the criteria, allowing you to carry on with life without a criminal record being an obstruction to employment opportunities.
Having a criminal record after you have repaid your debt to society makes many areas of your life very challenging. From job hunting to travelling, you get treated with caution and scepticism. Yet, it is possible to expunge your record with the right guidance and following the correct steps.
A criminal record is a record of your criminal history on the National Criminal Register.
This history is accessible to potential employees, lenders and others who use it to access your credibility and trustworthiness. It lists every criminal offence where you have pleaded guilty or been found guilty by a court, from speeding tickets to all arrests.
Job hunting without a record is hard enough in today's economy. Having a record makes this process so much harder. Before a potential employee hires a candidate, it is common to run a background check. The nature of your crime is very much taken into consideration and will affect your job prospects.
Whether you want to go on holiday or attend a wedding, you must look into the policies of the country you want to go to as each country differs on whether or not they allow people with a criminal record to enter the country.
Criminals records don't last forever, but there are several factors which need to be taken into consideration to determine how long you will have a record for, like the number of years of your sentence, as well as what you were convicted of.
There are several organisations that can assist with an application for a fee or you can apply directly to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
You must first obtain a Police Clearance Certificate from the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service.
Then complete the application for expungement and attached all necessary documentation together with the clearance certificate.
You can either post or deliver by hand.
If the Director General is satisfied that you meet all the requirements for an expungement then same will be granted and you will be notified by the Head of the Criminal Record Centre.
There are several qualifying criteria needed to clear your record:
There are also several factors which will prevent you from getting your record cleared:
If you were arrested on a minor offence charge, you should be given the option to pay an admission of guilt fine. It is important to note that the admission of guilt fine is entirely separate from paying for bail, which allows you to stay out of jail while your case is heard. If you need help to understand this process, we have experienced attorneys available for consult immediately. Paying this fine means that you admit to guilt and in some cases (not all) still find yourself with a criminal record.
If you meet the criteria you can choose to apply to have your record expunged, which is a free service offered by the Justice Department and the Constitutional Development department. However, we understand the process might be overwhelming, which is why we are here to help you.
Legal&Tax is your companion. Our experts can help advise you on how to follow the correct legal procedure and what legal steps you might be able to take to clear your criminal record. Contact us for more information