Question posted in the Criminal Law category relating to Gauteng
Almost 20 years ago, I was charged for theft. The matter went to court and was struck off the roll after a number of appearances without even a plea.
This has come up as pending in a criminal check for pottential employment. What are my options?
Information Requested by Lawyer
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Answer to the Question
The first thing that you should do is to apply for a police clearance certificate (PCC) or a certificate of good conduct. You can apply for this at your nearest SAPS police station and it costs R114,00. You will need your identification documents (ID/passport). After you complete the application form in full, they take your fingerprints, and after fifteen working days, your certificate will be ready.
There are also businesses who can assist with applying/obtaining a PCC for you, such as https://www.policeclear.co.za/
The PCC will then detail exactly what appears on your official criminal record.
I'm suggesting that you get this as a first step because you don't actually know how the potential employer actually conducted the criminal check on you. It could be that he used the services of a private investigator who knows somebody at SAPS, and the SAPS officer simply looked up on their system if there were any criminal charges/records - informally, and without actually being allowed to do this. (I'm just guessing that this might have happened, I'm not saying it did happen.)
If there is an entry on your PCC, then what you will need to do is to apply for the record to be expunged (removed).
The same company also offers expungement services! See here.
The only other way to get rid of the pending criminal charge is to go speak to the investigating officer (who the docket is assigned to) at the SAPS police station where the charges were laid, and convince him to speak to the public prosecutor about formally withdrawing the charges against you.
The prosecutor will then need to withdraw the charges against you, and SAPS will then update their records to show that the charges were withdrawn.