“SHORT TERMS SOLUTION, LONG TERM BOTHERATION”
1. WHAT ARE ADMISSIONS OF GUILT FINES?
The South African Police Service (SAPS) may give an individual, who has
been arrested on suspicion of a less grave offence, to choose to pay an
admission of guilt fine. Such a fine permit an individual to admit guilt for a less
grave offence in short of taking to appear in court. This fine is paid before the
defendant appears in court, and can create the impression that it is a laidback
and inexpensive way out.
In many occasions the accused only pays the fine to secure his release and
evade an evening in a police cell and avoids a superfluous excess of the court
system. It is intended to resolve fewer grave matters rapidly where an
accused person admits accountability for partaking in committing a trivial
Many people have, however, paid the admission of guilt fine so that they can
be released from police custody – not knowing what it means and how it will
affect them. Unfortunately, there are consequences to paying an admission of
guilt fine which may haunt a person for many years to come. “Guilt is an
indulgence, it entangles you in the past” (quote by Gregg Hurwitz).
“Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it” (quote by Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow). It is wise to speak to your attorney first before signing an
admission of guilt fine. It is important that you must not pay an admission of
guilt fine solely to get out of jail speedily. This decision that may have longterm
penalties. In some cases, paying an admission of guilt fine may be a
suitable option, but it should be paid subsequently having established
comprehensive legal guidance. Remember, “the most guilty people are the
most generous ones – this is the common law” (quote by Pierre
2. YOUR RIGHTS IF ARRESTED
“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are
threatened” (quote by J.F. Kennedy).
You have rights, if arrested include the right to
2.1. remain silent. “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to
open one’s mouth and remove all doubt” (quote by Maurice Switzer)
2.2. be told of your right to remain silent. “Blessed is the man who, having
nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact”
(quote by George Eliot)
2.3. be released from detention, if detained for supposedly committing an
offence, if the interests of justice permit,
2.4. be told that you are not obliged to make any admission that can be
used in evidence against you,
2.5. be told of the purpose for your detention,
2.6. choose to refer with an attorney or to have one allocated by the State if
a considerable injustice will result due to lack of legal representation,
2.7. communicate with and be visited by your spouse or partner, family,
chosen religious counsellor and medical practitioner.
Simply put but it is clear that you have the right to remain silent and cannot be
forced to pay an admission of guilt fine.
3. DUTY TO BE INFORMED OF THE PENALTIES OF PAYING ADMISSION
OF GUILT FINE
3.1. The police department must accurately caution you of the penalties of
paying an admission of guilt fine. The police cannot entail that you first
pay the admission of guilt fine prior to being released from custody as
you should be given some time to contemplate whether or not you will
pay the admission of guilt fine.
3.2. The courts have established that if the accused wants to pay the
admission of guilt fine, the accused must:
3.2.1. be informed that he/she will be deemed to have been convicted
by a court,
3.2.2. the conviction will appear on the accused’s criminal record,
3.2.3. when paying the admission of guilt fine, he/she waives the rights
188.8.131.52. contest the matter in a court,
184.108.40.206. confront the accusers,
220.127.116.11. call witnesses, and
18.104.22.168. legal representation.
4. ADMISSION OF GUILT FINE vs BAIL
4.1. ADMISSION OF GUILT FINE:
“Admitting failure is quite cleansing, but never – pleasurable” (quote by
4.1.1. The admission of guilt fine consequences results in you being
considered to have been condemned of an offence.
4.1.2. The matter is therefore finalised but you will have a criminal
4.1.3. The admission of guilt fine will not be paid back to you.
4.1.4. You will not have to appear in court once more.
“Holding people presumed to be innocent in jail pre-trial simply because
they cannot afford to pay their bail extracts huge human and financial
costs” (quote by Stan Van Gundy).
4.2.1. You are still assumed not guilty until proven guilty.
4.2.2. The compensation of bail means that the matter has not been
4.2.3. Paying bail does not mean that you confess to an offence and
there is no criminal conviction is placed against you.
4.2.4. You must still appear in court.
4.2.5. You will receive the bail money back if you comply with all the
5. CONSEQUENCES OF PAYING ADMISSION OF GUILT FINE
5.1. Your employment prospects; struggle to successfully apply for a firearm
license and could also result in the refusal of a travel visa hence
adversely affecting your freedom of movement etc;
5.2. You will incur a criminal record which will be endured forever, unless
you apply to have it expunged after ten years or successfully appeal
the conviction at some time prior to that.
6. WHEN ARRESTED FOR ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCE
6.1. When you are arrested for a road traffic offence, irrespective of what
offence it may be, that offence establishes a crime, and if and when
you are convicted of it or pay an admission of guilt fine in relation to it,
you will incur a criminal record which will reflect on the South African
Police Service (SAPS) Criminal Records Centre (CRC) database.
6.2. Policy requirement of the South African Police is that a docket number
and the fingerprints of a convicted person must be submitted to it in
order for such criminal record to be registered.
6.3. For sincerely repentant first-time offenders, the prosecution may well
be prepared to enter into a diversion agreement with you prior to the
matter going to trial and in so doing, keep the matter outside of the
6.4. An accused person may approach the public prosecutor to ask about
his or her suitability to be entered into a diversion agreement.
6.5. If a person is however ignorant that he got a criminal record by paying
an admission of guilt fine, one could approach the High Court with an
application to clear the person’s name.
7. WHAT IS A DIVERSION PROGRAMME?
7.1. A decent diversion programme will encompass a combination of public
service, as well as corrective education, which is intended to correct the
behaviour of the offender, relatively than penalize him or her. “Be
humble to see your mistakes, courageous to admit them and wise
enough to correct them” (quote by Amine Ayad).
7.2. Diversion programmes are usually for first-time offenders, not because
it is soft on crime but since it realises and recognizes the simple effect
that incurring a criminal record has on a person who may not
essentially have envisioned to board on a career of criminality.
7.3. Diversion programmes assist first time offenders to become active
members of society. The practical implication of a criminal record is
that it aggressively impedes people from employ resulting people to
rely financially on families or develop a career criminal in order to
7.4. When you have entered into a diversion agreement, you will have to
appear in court where the criminal charges against you will
be provisionally withdrawn.
7.5. As soon as all of the conditions of the diversion agreement have been
met, the matter will be permanently withdrawn.
“I never sympathise with the accused unless there’s a chance the accused is not
guilty, but I certainly don’t ever sympathise with the criminal” (quote by Clint
Don’t be so quick to admit guilt, if there is a defence. It is so easy to pay a fine, but
difficult to move away from it. Consider obtaining legal advice prior to making any
If one is guilty, admitting guilt is to evade wasting time and money. Nonetheless it
should not be something one is ashamed of admitting. “The difference between
shame and guilt is the difference between ‘I am bad’ and ‘I did something bad””
(quote by Dr. Brene Brown). Should it be a less grievous offence, let that not be that
which defines you, let it be that which gives you a life lesson.
(NOTE: this article is for information purposes only. Each case depends on
merits of matter and should be consulted with an attorney