What is the difference between an admission of guilt fine and bail?
Admission of guilt fine – An admission of guilt fine is a fine offered to an arrested person when a less serious crime has been committed. This puts an end to the matter and the accused does not have to appear in court again. The fine can be paid when the person is still detained or after he is released. This however, reflects on the record of the accused as a criminal offence and might have consequences at a later stage when the person wants to apply for a job or travel to another country.
Bail – Bail is either granted by the police or by the court and when bail is paid the accused is released from custody, pending the next court appearance. Bail can be forfeited to the state should the bail conditions not be met or can be claimed back when the matter is finalised. When bail is paid the matter is not yet finalised but the accused does not have to remain in custody for the duration of his trial.
When a person is arrested, he or she must make sure they understand whether they are being released on bail or whether they are paying an admission of guilt fine. It is always best to obtain legal advice from an attorney before making any decisions and not just pay a fine to get released from custody.
The above is intended for explanation purposes and should not be regarded as legal advice.