Refugees and the law

Have you been arrested for breaching the lockdown rules? Here’s what to do…

Have you been caught in a public area without wearing your mask or perhaps been out after curfew? If so and if you were arrested by the South African Police Service or South African Defense Force, who told you that you could pay an admission of guilt fine and be released, you could have a criminal record.

The Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to a surge in people finding themselves with a criminal record after violating lockdown regulations. Suddenly we find ourselves in a country where we still bear the brunt of a severe lockdown which had an overwhelming impact on South Africans coupled with an estimated 200 000 people who now have a criminal record for mostly minor offenses.

Some of the consequences of having a criminal record include your prospects of employment being severely hampered as well as your visa application to travel internationally being denied. Further to this, these consequences endure for a period of 10 years.  The South African Government has alluded to the possibility of removing these criminal records from the criminal record database which is a process called expungement, but the Government is yet to take any steps in this regard.

The process of applying for expungement is made possible by means of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 which enables a criminal record to be expunged (deleted) if the sentence handed down to the offender is a fine not exceeding R20 000.

Tuckers Inc. assists in matters such as these. If you are one of these people, do not hesitate to call us at 011 897 1900 or 076 777 1920 (afterhours) or to e-mail us at info@tuckers.co.za

 

Article contributed by Anri Swanepoel of Tuckers Attorneys. 

For more information on COVID-19, visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za