Expungement of Criminal record

According to Section 271B(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977) – a person may have their criminal record cleared if they meet the requirements. You will need to answer the following 6 questions in order for us to establish if you qualify:

1) Has 10 years lapsed after the date of the conviction for your offence(s)
2) Were you convicted of any other offence and sentenced to a period of imprisonment without the option of a fine during those 10 years
3) Was your fine over R20 000?
4) Were you convicted of a sexual offence against a child or person who is mentally disabled?
5) Is your name included in the National Register for Sex Offenders?
6) What were you convicted of?

FACTSHEET: EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORD

WHAT IS EXPUNGEMENT OF A CRIMINAL RECORD?

  • Expungement of a criminal record is a process by which a criminal record of a convicted offender is expunged from the criminal record database of the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service.
  • This allows a person to carry on with life without a criminal record being an obstruction to employment opportunities.
  • IMPORTANT:
    • THIS SERVICE IS RENDERED FREE OF CHARGE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
    • MATTERS ARE DEALT WITH IN ORDER OF RECEIPT AND NO PREFERANCE WILL BE GIVEN BY MATTERS SUBMITTED BY AGENCIES/REPRESENTATIVES APPLYING ON BEHALF OF APPLICANTS.

WHEN CAN A PERSON APPLY FOR AN EXPUNGEMENT OF A CRIMINAL RECORD?

  • When a period of 10 years has lapsed after the date of the conviction for that offence;
  • when the person has not been convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment without the option of a fine during those 10 years; and
  • provided that the person was sentenced to any of the following sentences:
    • Corporal punishment.
    • Sentence was postponed or the person was cautioned and discharged.
    • Fine not exceeding R20 000.
    • Imprisonment with the option to pay a fine instead of serving the period of imprisonment.
    • Imprisonment was suspended wholly.
    • Correctional supervision in terms of section 276(1)(h) of the Act.
    • Imprisonment in terms of section 276(1)(i) of the Act.
    • Periodical imprisonment in term of section 276(1)(c) of the Act
  • If a person was convicted of a sexual offence against a child or a mentally disabled person proof must be provided that such a person’s name was not entered into the National Register of Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register, or if it was entered, proof that such a person’s name has been removed from the relevant Register.

A PERSON WILL NOT QUALIFY IF:

  • When a period of 10 years has not lapsed after the date of the conviction.
  • When a person was sentenced to direct imprisonment.
  • When a fine of more than R20 000 was imposed.
  • When a person was sentenced to direct imprisonment (the imprisonment was not suspended and there was not the option of a fine) during the relevant 10 year period.
  • His or her name is included in the National Register for Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register and his or her name has not been removed from the National Register for Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register.

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED WITH THE APPLICATION

  • A clearance certificate issued by the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service issued on a date 10 years after the conviction(s) and sentence(s).
  • Confirmation stating that your name has been removed from the National Register for Sex Offences or the National Child Protection Register if your name has been included in any of these registers.

STEPS DURING AN APPLICATION

  • The completed application form (Part II and Part III), together with the attachments must be posted or delivered by hand to the Director-General:  Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Postal Address:  Private Bag X81, Pretoria, 0001. Street Address: Pretmed Building, 319 Pretorius Street, Pretoria, 0001
  • If the Director-General is satisfied that a person meets the requirements, he or she will issue a certificate of Expungement directing that the conviction(s) and sentence(s) of the person be expunged—this process takes 3 months.
  • The certificate of Expungement issued by the Director-General will be submitted to the head of the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service within 14 working days after the Director-General issued it.
  • If the application for Expungement is refused, the person will be informed by post of this decision and reasons for the decision.
  • The head of the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service will, within 21 working days after his or her receipt of the certificate of Expungement, confirm to the person in writing that the conviction(s) and sentence(s) in question has/have been expunged.
  • FINALIZATION OF THE APPLICATION TAKES 3 MONTHS FROM DATE OF RECEIPT OF ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTSENQUIRIES BEFORE 3 MONTHS HAVE LAPSED UNFORTUNATELY HAVE A TREMENDOUS DELAYING EFFECT ON THE COMPLETION OF APPLICATIONS.