Expungement Requirements In South Africa

You can apply to have your criminal record expunged when:

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  • a period of 10 years has passed after the date of the conviction for that offence.
  • you have not been convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment without the option of a fine during those 10 years.
  • the sentence was corporal punishment.
  • the sentence was postponed or you were cautioned and discharged.
  • the sentence was a fine not exceeding R20 000.
  • the sentence was imprisonment with the option to pay a fine (not more than R20 000) instead of serving the period of imprisonment.
  • the sentence of imprisonment was suspended wholly.
  • the sentence was correctional supervision in terms of section 276(1)(h) of the Act.
  • the sentence was imprisonment in terms of section 276(1)(i) of the Act.
  • the sentence was periodical imprisonment in term of section 276(1)(c) of the Act.
  • proof is provided that your name has been removed from the National Register of Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register, if relevant.

You can find information on the steps to take and documents to submit on the website of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

How do I get an expungement in South Africa?

Procedure to follow to obtain an Expungement of Criminal Record: A Police Clearance Certificate showing an interval of 10 years between the conviction(s) and sentence(s) must be obtained from the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service; this is to confirm the details and dates of the offence.

How do you write a letter requesting an expungement?

Always begin the letter with a formal greeting, such as “Dear Judge…”, before composing the rest of the letter.

Then, write the first paragraph of your letter by explaining why you are writing, what charge you wish to have expunged, and a short description of why you feel it should be expunged.

Do I need a lawyer to file for expungement?

An attorney is not required for you to file a petition for expungement. However, it may be useful to consult with an attorney if you have questions about your situation.

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