ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler
crim-recjpg

What you need to know about getting your criminal record cleared #ConsumerTalk

The chances are we've all done things in our past that we're not proud of and wouldn't do again. That's life, right?

But what if the things you did when you were younger continued to have a direct impact on your life today?

For people with a criminal record, it can be that the decisions they make are governed by their actions in the past.

Travel plans, job opportunities, living arrangements can all be affected by a previous conviction.

But, did you know it IS possible for those with a criminal record to have it expunged, so long as they meet certain requirements.

The Criminal Procedure Amendment Act allows for those convicted of a minor offence, 10 or more years ago, to qualify for the expungement of their criminal records where the sentence was a suspended jail term, correctional supervision or a fine.

Throughout the country, there are companies who, for a fee, will do the legwork on behalf of those who want their records cleared.

CapeTalk listener Joaan M got in touch with one of them, Fresh Start Law Centre, for help in clearing her record for "something very stupid' she did 20 years ago.

The company claims to be SA’s leading criminal record removal firm, and the only one with dedicated consultants in the Department of Justice in Pretoria.

Joaan is a neo-natal nurse and in December last year, she was offered a nursing job in England for which she needed a police clearance.

But after enlisting the help of Fresh Start and paying R5,400 for the service to be fast-tracked, she was left feeling very dissatisfied with the service and contacted consumer journalist Wendy Knowler for help.

Among the promises on its website are the following: "We constantly track and monitor your progress 24/7. Clients are immediately notified by a case manager at each and every stage. We have a 99.95% success rate, and a money back guarantee.”

But that wasn't Joan's experience.

RELATED: Why you should ALWAYS read the Ts and Cs - #ConsumerTalk

RELATED: What's the real deal with 'non-refundable' deposits?

After being told by the company that the expungement would be ready by 28 May Joaan rented out her house in Durban, sold her furniture, cancelled her medical aid and prepared to leave for the UK.

But to this day she is still waiting for the expungement certificate.

I had a look on consumer complaints website HelloPeter when I found more than 160 complaints about Fresh Start, many of them fresh. Most allege that once you’ve paid your money for the service, communication dries up.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

The CEO of Fresh Start, gave the following response when he joined Wendy Knowler on CapeTalk's Lunch with Pippa show on Wednesday.

At no point does Fresh Start Law Centre guarantee we can remove criminal records as each case is unique. Furthermore, the client is provided with a quotation detailing the entire service and timelines – to which the client accepted and paid (the line items were carried forward within the invoice attached). Plus the client accepted the terms of service which further details the exact process to be followed.

Ansar Sykes, CEO - Fresh Start Law Centre

Sykes says Joaan's case is at the final part of the first process, awaiting sign-off by the director-general.

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : What you need to know about getting your criminal record cleared #ConsumerTalk


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Are 'tap and go' cards safe? Maybe, suggests this case involving Standard Bank

Are 'tap and go' cards safe? Maybe, suggests this case involving Standard Bank

Handsfree pickpocketing is a myth, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler. But risks remain, suggests a case she took on.

Third-party car insurance cover and why it's sometimes just not worth it

Third-party car insurance cover and why it's sometimes just not worth it

Consumer journo Wendy Knowler explains why it can be better to claim on your own car insurance after an accident.

[LISTEN] How can you protect yourself from ID fraud?

[LISTEN] How can you protect yourself from ID fraud?

Azania Mosaka spoke to consumer journalist Wendy Knowler to find out.

What's the real deal with 'non-refundable' deposits?

What's the real deal with 'non-refundable' deposits?

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler explains what your rights are when it comes to the CPA and non-refundable deposits.

Smooth operator - How to avoid getting caught out by telesales agents

Smooth operator - How to avoid getting caught out by telesales agents

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler shares her advice on how best to deal with the calls.

Renting out or booking accommodation this coming high season? A cautionary tale…

Renting out or booking accommodation this coming high season? A cautionary tale…

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler warns people planning to rent out or book accommodation this upcoming high season.

Popular articles
Is DA leader Mmusi Maimane about to quit?

Is DA leader Mmusi Maimane about to quit?

“He might have calculated there’s no way out,” says Dr Somadoda Fikeni, a political analyst at Unisa.

Pick n Pay to open 63 new stores as profits in South Africa soar

Pick n Pay to open 63 new stores as profits in South Africa soar

There’s still plenty of opportunities to expand within South Africa, says Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher.

[WATCH] A driver smiles and waves at a driver with road rage

[WATCH] A driver smiles and waves at a driver with road rage

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[WATCH] SA rugby youngsters doing their own haka goes viral

[WATCH] SA rugby youngsters doing their own haka goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

'Audit found Mango and Comair planes were signed off by unqualified persons'

'Audit found Mango and Comair planes were signed off by unqualified persons'

The South African Civil Aviation Authority explains some of the findings of its maintenance audit at SAA Technical.

'I want to ensure my money delivers change to as many people as possible'

'I want to ensure my money delivers change to as many people as possible'

Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu on his attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

'Mbete faced difficult questions. She has done a lot in terms of responding'

'Mbete faced difficult questions. She has done a lot in terms of responding'

Xolani Xala (SA Business Abroad) defends his defence of ANC stalwart Baleka Mbete’s "car crash" interview on Al Jazeera.

[WATCH] Oprah roasts student about his cracked phone, then buys him a new one

[WATCH] Oprah roasts student about his cracked phone, then buys him a new one

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.