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All About the Process of Review of Setting Aside of Admission Of Guilt Payments


- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA - April 2019

An admission of guilt fine may prevent an appearance in court and save on legal fees, but it does not come without consequences. In some cases, paying an admission of guilt fine feels tantamount to paying bail, and that is not the case. Bail does prevent imprisonment; it only guarantees someone’s freedom of movement during a trial.

However, an admission of guilt fine means that a person avoids imprisonment by pleading guilty to a minor offence and paying a fine. But it doesn’t end there, as an admission of guilt fine results in a criminal record – something that can be very detrimental to a person’s ability to get a job or travel outside of the country.

However, there is hope for those who have paid an admission of guilt fine and are now burdened with a criminal record. There is legal advice available that can help with the process of setting aside or reviewing an admission of guilt payment. If a lawyer can prove that the admission of guilt fine was “not in the interest of justice”, the courts may have the verdict set aside. In order to so, there must be proof of the fact that the person paying the admission of guilt fine did not understand the consequences thereof or were improperly informed.

For example, if someone is arrested for a misdemeanour and are offered the chance to pay an admission of guilt fine instead of spending the night in prison, they may do so. But the police officer at the time must explain that this will result in a criminal record and that this is not the same as paying bail.

Of course, if all proper protocol has been followed, an admission of guilt fine may only be up for review or setting aside once it is eligible for expungement. This can only take place 10 years following the sentence, so it is best to investigate whether or not a fine was paid in accordance with the best interests of justice.

Should you require help with an admission of guilt fine on your criminal record, reach out to us and we can refer your query to an attorney that specialises in criminal law. There is no need to pay for a minor misdemeanour that arose from the folly of youth longer than you need to.

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