CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNGEMENT AND PROCESS TO FOLLOW IN SOUTH AFRICA
Expungement is a process by which a criminal record of a convicted offender is removed from the criminal record database of the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service. In terms of Section 271B of the Criminal Procedure this can only be done after a period of ten years have passed after the date of the conviction for that conviction and that there has been no conviction and sentences during those ten years.
It is difficult to find your desired employment opportunities if you have a criminal record. South African firms frequently request criminal record checks.
A person will not qualify for expungment if he or she was convicted of a sexual offence against a child or a person who is mentally disabled or of an offence, where he or she was found to be unsuitable to work with children. His or her name is included in the National Register for Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register but may qualify if his or her name has been removed from the National Register for Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register.
CRITERIA TO QUALIFY FOR CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNGEMENT
There are certain standards to be met in order to qualify for the expungment in South Africa. Listed below are a few qualifying factors:
- The existence of the record has been for at least ten years and no subsequent convictions were recorded.
- The offence must have been of a trivial nature, such as shoplifting, petty theft, etc. Convictions of crimes of a serious nature, such as rape, murder and other sexual offences do not qualify for criminal record expungement.
- You were given the option of paying a fine.
- You were advised that paying a fine would not result in a criminal record, but found subsequently that the criminal record does exist.
You will first do an application to the Director-General. If the Director-general is statisfied with the requirements, a certificate of expungement will be issued by the Director-General to the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service. The Head of the Criminal Record Centre will inform the applicant in writing that his convictions and sentences have been expunged. Please note this process usually takes about 20 – 28 weeks.