Question posted in the Criminal Law category relating to Western Cape
I recieved a section 56 notice traffic fine in Knysna.
CHARGE DETAILSYou are hereby called upon in terms of Sect 56 of theCriminal Procedure Act, Act 51/1977, to appearbefore on the date of the trail. both of which arementioned herein and below, at 08h45 and to remainin attendance there. to answer to the followingcharge (s):CHARGE 1Contravention of c/o Reg. 284- Reg. 291 NRTR 2000r/w Sect. 58(1) and Sect. 89(1) NRTA 93/1996 inthat: on or about 2021/12/29 07:22 you wrongfullyand unlawfully operated motor vehicle on a public road/place, to wit N2 BRADEN HILL bycommitting the following offence: Disregard NoCrossing Line. (2 Lines) RM2.Charge Code: 20026Amount: R2500.00Main Description: Disregard No Crossing Line. (2Lines) RM2.
Should I pay the fine or will I get a crimical record if I do?
Message from the Lawyer
Hi there and thank you for your question.
A section 56 fine is imposed when the motorist himself or herself is stopped by the traffic officer and his or her identity therefore is known. When this fine is imposed and is not paid by the due date, the motorist automatically has to appear in court. No second notice is issued for this fine.
If you want to avoid a court appearance, you must pay the fine before the date provided.
The fine is an admission of guilt fine, so you would be pleading guilty to the fine and you would technically receive a criminal sentence.
But, the only way for your name to be entered into the criminal database is if your fingerprints are taken.
So, if you pay the fine and don't appear in court and they can't therefore take your fingerprints, then you won't be in the database which means that nobody can actually ever figure out that you paid an admission of guilt fine for a traffic infringement.
I pay my fines, and I've never had any issue. I suggest that you do the same.
But these are your risks.