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If you are arrested and the police offer you the option of paying an admission of guilt fine, should you do it? Scorpion Legal Protection discusses the consequences of paying an admission of guilt fine and what you need to be aware of.
But there are serious consequences to signing an admission of guilt, like getting a criminal record. Scorpion Legal Protection discusses the consequences of paying an admission of guilt fine and what you need to be aware of.
Often people will sign an admission of guilt fine to just get out of jail, or they confuse it with bail. If you are ever in this situation, we advise you to speak to a lawyer first before signing anything.
When you pay an admission of guilt fine you are basically admitting that you committed the crime you are being accused of and give up the right to go to court, confront your accusers or call witnesses.
Once you sign and pay the admission of guilt fine, you will have a criminal record. Criminal records from admission of guilt fines remain on your name for 10 years. This has long-term consequences. It will affect you when you apply for jobs or visas and will prevent you from being able to travel outside of the country.
Admission of guilt means that you are convicted of the offence. The matter is over when you sign and pay the fine and you leave with a criminal record. You do not get this money back and you do not have to appear in court.
Bail is when you pay an amount to be released from jail on the condition that you will appear in court at a later date. At this stage your matter must still be decided. There is no criminal record against you just for paying bail. You must appear in court, and you will get the bail money back as long as you comply with the bail conditions.
It is the police officer’s duty to explain to you properly what exactly it is that you are signing for and what it means. However, the ultimate responsibility still lies with you. There is legal recourse for you if this is the case – you can approach the High Court to argue that you were not aware that you were signing an admission of guilt, however, you will need a lawyer to go to court and this has obvious costs involved.
You may also be interested in:
Unlawful arrests: what you need to know
What happens if you get caught driving drunk in a roadblock?
Can you use lethal force to protect your property?
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* This is only basic advice and cannot be relied on solely. This is not financial advice. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 17 November 2020
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