If you have a criminal record, even if not for a major crime, you’ll already have experienced that in a tough economy it’s hard to get a job with a criminal record, but if many years have already passed, you may be asking; can I clear my criminal record after 5 years?

In an economy that has been sorely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, competition for employment is even greater than ever, giving employers a huge pool of potential employees to choose from, making it even harder for those with a criminal record to get a job.

There are many people who made mistakes when they were young which resulted in a criminal conviction, but in certain instances there does come a time when you can apply to the Department of Justice to clear your criminal record, especially for minor criminal offences. 

This is known as having your criminal record expunged from the SAPS criminal record database, and it’s a process well worth undertaking if you’re looking to start life with a clean slate again.

Can I clear my criminal record after 5 years?

You can only clear your criminal record after 5 years if you were 18 years and younger at the time of conviction, other than that, you can only apply for your criminal record to be expunged if it’s been 10 years since the date of your conviction.

According to the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, you can apply for your criminal record to be expunged when:

  • a period of 10 years has passed after the date of the conviction for that offence, or as mentioned above, 5 years if you were 18 and younger at the time of the conviction.
  • you have not been convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment, without the option of a fine, during those 10 years.
  • the sentence was corporal punishment.
  • the sentence was postponed or you were cautioned and discharged.
  • the sentence was a fine not exceeding R20 000.
  • the sentence was imprisonment with the option to pay a fine (not more than R20 000) instead of serving the period of imprisonment.
  • the sentence of imprisonment was suspended wholly.
  • the sentence was correctional supervision in terms of section 276(1)(h) of the Act.
  • You are able to provide proof that your name has been removed from the National Register of Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register, if you’ve been convicted of a sexual offense against children.

You will not be able to clear your criminal record if:

  • It has not been 10 years since the conviction
  • You were convicted of a serious crime such as rape or other sexual offences, murder or other violent crimes
  • You were sentenced to prison without the option of a fine
  • You received a fine of more than R20 000
  • Your name is still listed in the National Register for Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register.

Apply for criminal record expungement with Doc Assist

If you meet all the requirements for the expungement of your criminal record, Doc Assist will simplify the entire process for you. It takes between 5 and 6 months to complete this process, but you can rely on this team to stay on top of it until you are finally able to obtain a new police clearance certificate (PCC) without the criminal record.

If you’ve found it difficult to get work with a criminal record, you’ll find your chances greatly improved if you’re able to produce a police clearance certificate to potential employers, one that shows there is no criminal record attached to your name.

A large majority of employers today insist on a police clearance certificate before they employ anyone, which means that with one, you’ll be playing on a level playing ground again.

Doc Assist will first apply for a PCC with your criminal record, which will be submitted to the DOJ for the process of expunging your record. If the expungement is approved, the team will again apply for a new PCC on your behalf.

Contact Doc Assist today for professional, trusted help in clearing your criminal record, or for assistance in obtaining a police clearance certificate.

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