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What charges do I face if I don't pay my speeding fines in SA?

For any traffic violation, there are two types of traffic fines defined in the Criminal

Procedure Act:

1. Section 341 Notice:

Mailed in the post, this fine is sent to a motorist for violations caught on camera or for traffic tickets issued in absence of the motorist. This serves as a first notice before summons (i.e., a court date to appear). A second notice will be sent before the summons is actually issued. After the second notice, one has another 30 days to pay, or to contest the fine in writing, before the matter goes to court. In total, you haveapproximately 3 months to pay a Section 341 ticket – but note the time periods varyper municipality.

In the case of minor offences such as speeding fines, licence offences, illegal parking and the like are normally within the category of Section 341/Schedule 3 offences. There is no prosecution for the matter and therefore no criminal record upon payment by the offender.

criminal lawyers - paying speeding fines

2. Section 56 Written Notice to Appear in Court:

Issued to you by a traffic officer, generally for a moving violation. It has a court date on it where you need to appear. There is about 30 days to pay before your case goes to court. This may give you the option of paying an admission of guilt fine to avoid an appearance in court – in which event Section 57 would apply.

What happens in the case of Section 57/57A offences (Admission of Guilt)?

An admission of guilt fine is paid with or without an appearance in court, and thereafter you will end up with a “deemed” conviction and thus criminal record. An admission of guilt fine is offered for less serious offences and thereafter does not require the offender to appear in court. This option is often viewed as a convenient or

‘Easy way out’ opposed to spending the night in a jail cell or having to appear before court. The consequences thereof are that the offender pleads guilty to the offence and acquires a criminal record once a formal docket is opened and fingerprints obtained. This particular record remains valid for 10 years.

Bailey Haynes Inc. – Criminal Lawyers in Cape Town

Our law firm in Cape Town offers professional criminal law services.

We specialise in the following areas:

  • Bail applications
  • Clearing criminal records
  • After hour bail applications
  • Defence representation in all courts
  • Trial litigation and management
  • Expunging of criminal records
  • Case Opinions
  • Diversion to community service
  • Wrongful arrest

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