South Africa Law
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Here is the story in brief. I was driving home from my office on a Friday afternoon, when a car accident occurred. I did not have a license at the time, and the guy who drove into my agreed to settle out of court provided I make monthly payments to him. His payment requirements were quite high, but because I was scared I agreed to the payments and signed the documentation drawn up by his lawyer. By doing so I over-extended myself financially and as a result could only afford four payments before my other debt stared mounting and I was no longer able to make the payments. I have not received any communication from him in months, and on Thursday last week a detective from the police station in the area where the accident took place called me and told me he has a summons to appear in court which he wishes to serve me for a charge of reckless driving. I am in a better financial situation now and can afford to resume making the payments, an offer which I have made in writing to the third party's lawyer, but i have as yet not received any feedback. Should this go to court what should I expect to happen? I have made an offer to repay him for the damages, and simply can not afford to go to litigation on this. I have no assets which I can sell in order to raise cash to settle with the third party in a single payment, and can only afford the monthly payments as detailed in the offer to his legal council. I have never been convicted of any crime. Thank you
HiWelcome to Just Answer!! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you.
The summons you received, is this for a specific amount or is it a criminal charge? Further, who's fault was the accident?
This is not a civil claim and is a criminal charge. This has got nothing to do with the fact whether you can or cannot pay. This is something you can be found guilty of, and have a criminal record.
You will have to get this person to withdraw the charges, or you will have to get a lawyer to represent you. Paying the damages is irrelevant herein.
Go to www.criminallawyer.co.za if you need someone to represent you in court.
You are a first time offender, and in my view will only get a suspended sentence for say three to four years.
They will sentence you with a two years imprisonment or a fine of R10 000, suspended for 5 years. This means that if you are being found guilty of the same offence within a 5 year period, that you will then to serve the jail time of pay the fine.
Yes he can continue on a civil basis. The two are totally different.
If they want to continue tommorow, then you should request a postponement in order for you to get a lawyer. The case will in all probability be postponed tommorow, and will not appoint a lawyer now.
It might be if you admit to the charges. No need for a lawyer then.