Question posted in the Criminal Law category relating to Gauteng
I recently received notice of myself speeding on the R21, specifically travelling 176 in a 120 zone. The notice says that it will be followed by a summons to court, where I will be expected to appear. I am a medical doctor and most concerned about the fact that if I go to prison or recieve a criminal record I will be unable to practice here or overseas. I was, at the time of the incident, rushing to get my younger brother who was left alone at school. I did not realise what speed I was doing. The notice also has an old post address and when I try call the EMPD to update it using the number given on the notice, I am told it does not exist.
What is the next best course of action I can take to avoid prison/a criminal record?
Answer to the Question
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow-up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
In my opinion, the excuse of having to rush to fetch your brother is not going to count for much at all unless it was a medical emergency, and even then, the prosecutors think that an ambulance should speed and you should drive within the speed limit.
What you've received is a NAG fine. These are, in fact, not a fine, but a summons to appear in court. If you were stopped by a traffic officer, who caught you committing the offence, you would have been arrested!
NAG fines are issued when you travel faster than 30kph above the speed limit in a 60 zone or 80 zone, or faster than 40kph above the speed limit in a 100 zone or 120 zone. Should you go to court in terms of the summons served, if the summons is based on the CPA, and you are found guilty, you will have a criminal record.
The one option that you have is to make representations to the prosecutor (once you've appeared for the first time) as to why the fine should be reduced, or cancelled. This is where you would write the story of your brother, etc.
There are some online companies who offer services helping with NAGs and making representations (like this one) but there is also no reason why you can't try representations yourself, or hire a lawyer to assist you with making representations.
Ultimately, the state prosecutor bears the onus of proving that you broke the law, so there are various ways to attack the evidence. e.g. perhaps the machine didn't have a valid certificate, or the operator didn't have a valid operator's certificate, or maybe there was another car in the photo frame, etc, etc.
If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.
Please remember this is a dialog if you have follow-up questions please use the REPLY button and ask. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted to be answered. I hope you found my answer helpful, and you have finished asking your questions, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button in order to mark the question as closed.