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Arrested?
Everyone deserves a second chance

Avoid jail time, defend your rights and maintain a clean record. We specialise in defending first-time offenders, DUI and drug possession arrestees.

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Need urgent help? Call 076 116 0623

Criminal Defence Attorney South Africa

It’s 2.00 am on Sunday morning. You’re sitting in a holding cell at your local police station. A good night out has turned into a nightmare and you’ve been arrested. You’re frightened and unsure of what will happen next. You need an experienced and compassionate criminal defence attorney to defend your rights.

SD Law is an established Cape Town-based law firm with offices in Johannesburg that offers experienced legal support in criminal defence cases. Contact us today for all your criminal defence needs.

We solve your immediate problem

Whether you’ve made a genuine mistake or feel you’ve been wrongfully arrested your first concern is getting out of that cell. We will arrange your bail and get you home. After that we will begin to look at your case and determine the best course of action for you.

And then we deal with your future

If you’re a first-time offender, you may be very worried about the impact of a criminal record on your future, whether that means your employment prospects, chance of promotion, or educational outcome. We specialise in criminal defence services to first-time offenders, particularly those who have been charged with driving under the influence and drug possession. Our clients include everyone from students to professionals.

Diversion/rehabilitation

Image of a gavelOur approach is practical, empathetic and non-judgmental. We’re committed to finding the best possible outcome for you. As far as possible, we do this by diverting worthy cases away from the criminal justice system and towards restorative justice processes and rehabilitation.

Our wealth of experience has taught us that this is usually in the best interests of everyone involved, especially when it’s a first-time offence. If successful, this means you won’t have a criminal record.

Strong relationships with officials

We are deeply familiar with local court proceedings, and have strong relationships with senior prosecutors and social workers. Time and again, our superior strategic and mediation skills have given our clients an advantage in the successful resolution of their cases. Our proven track record is evident in our rating as one of the top law firms in South Africa and in our host of positive reviews and testimonials.

What you can expect from us

  • Immediate and after-hours legal help – 24/7.
  • Emotionally intelligent and compassionate approach – we care about all our clients.
  • Transparent, affordable all-inclusive flat fees – fair payment terms.

How we help you

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or possession of drugs, we will help you by:

  • Arranging your bail and negotiating the amount with the authorities, including after hours.
  • Consulting with you and providing relevant legal advice.
  • Representing you at your court appearance/s.
  • Providing criminal mediation support.
  • Making written representations for diversion.
  • Giving you our legal opinion on the strength of your evidence and the probability of a successful defence.
  • Litigating for you (opening a lawsuit) in the event of wrongful arrest and//or wrongful detention.

What to expect if you are arrested as a first-time offender

  1. You or your next of kin makes a phone call to your criminal defence attorney
  2. Your attorney explains the procedure to you
  3. Your attorney attends at police station or court to bail you out
  4. Your attorney appears with you at court for your first appearance
  5. Normally, the matter is postponed for further investigation
  6. Your attorney appears with you at court for the outcome of the investigation
  7. Your attorney assesses the evidence and consults with you, giving sound legal advice
  8. Your attorney makes written and verbal representations to the senior prosecutor to divert your case
  9. If successful, your case is diverted and charges are withdrawn, in exchange for community service with no criminal record
  10. If unsuccessful, you attorney will advise on further defences, and prepare for a trial.

Watch now: Even if we are vigilant, we can still sometimes end up in trouble that’s not of our own doing

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What our clients say about us

SD Law
4.9
Based on 142 reviews
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Vee Okuma
Vee Okuma
15:26 29 Oct 21
I am extremely pleased with the amazing service I received. My matter was handled with the utmost compassion and... professionalism.I could not have wished for a better outcome, with minimal effort from my end, and constant communication from a very professional team.read more
Marlene Du Plessis
Marlene Du Plessis
11:07 22 Oct 21
I am a Practicing Attorney and correspond with Attorney Paul Morkel from SD law on a regular basis. He is highly... professional and he is dedicated to provide sufficient legal advise on any legal matter. He never hesitates to assist me in any way and he is very helpful in explaining legal processes of which I have limited knowledge. Thank you Paul for assisting a colleague in need! Your service and passion for our profession inspires me!read more
William Train
William Train
09:20 13 Oct 21
Mehra was outstanding during my divorce process. She kept me up to date on all procedures and processes. This was a... difficult time and she was always willing to help where needed. Thank you so much Mehra.read more
Dean Wilson
Dean Wilson
09:24 01 Oct 21
Simon has an impressive network of people between Cape Town and Pretoria. In particular, Legal Assistant Mehra, did a... fantastic job steering through the process every step of the way in an efficient and proficient manner.This resulted in an amicable divorce agreement between my wife and my self between the UK and RSA without physical representation at Court.Thanks to All.read more
Marisa Jordaan
Marisa Jordaan
07:18 22 Sep 21
I contacted this firm for some legal advise on a matter and they responded within a few minutes. I was really... emotional about this situation and Rayaan Allom calmed me down and gave me the most helpful advise in a friendly and calm manner. Thank you so much for your service to the community! I will sing your praises till the end of days!read more
Sandra Bruttomesso
Sandra Bruttomesso
07:07 13 Sep 21
Very professional Firm. SD Law gave me the information I needed quickly. Can highly recommend them to anyone struggling... to get accurate and meaningful information, that will enable you to make decisions and move forward. Thanks again.read more
Jan Prinsloo
Jan Prinsloo
17:28 10 Sep 21
Just wanted to say thank you to Paul for assisting me so professionally. Will definitely be using their services.
Brandon Minaar
Brandon Minaar
12:11 10 Sep 21
Was held very professionally. They were with me all the way. Well done and will def make use of your services... again.RegardsBrandon Minaarread more
thembi nkosi
thembi nkosi
18:41 07 Sep 21
It was a hassle-free and so comforting to go through this process with SD Law. The constant communication gives you a... piece mind and confidence that your tenant issues are in capable hands. The resolution turnaround was so prompt...Kudos to SD Law for the exceptional service.read more
Penny Szante
Penny Szante
07:04 04 Aug 21
I am a marketer and I know for a fact that it is extremely improbable to have only 5-star reviews. Note the multiple... sites etc. of this firm and other details that are warning signs. But, more than this, I have two friends who have had a terrible experience and lost a lot of money for bad legal advice. They are too afraid to give a negative review. That means there is no objectivity or balance.read more
rutie
rutie
13:56 03 Aug 21
Excellent, prompt ,professional service SD law .In United Kingdom but you helped for the vacation of the tenants who... refusing to pay rent.Your service is 5 star and will recommend anybody in the near future.Well done thank you. Happy Client Glades Chiwararead more
Tashniq Samuels
Tashniq Samuels
08:38 10 Jul 21
My experience with SD Law will change your mind.My mother actually contacted them after my arrest on a Sunday morning... and she was told that they do not cover our area. About a few minutes later she received another call from Simon to say that someone will come out to assist us.On Sunday, I met Clara at that moment I did not realize that she was my guardian ANGEL. She ask me what happened and explain everything as she recorded me and told me she will try her best to get me bail. Which she successfully got me out on Bail.When I arrived at home my mother received a call from Simon. I was amazed by the follow up and feedback. I asked Clara the cost to represent me in my trail and it was quite expensive, but I went with Clara as she knew my case and gave me very good advice.The Monday in court, the prosecutor said the case was withdrawn. We left the court room and Clara took the time to explain to me what had happened. I was still nervous as now I have a criminal record.  On Tuesday,  Clara gave me a phone called which she had not obligation to do. As she had completed her duties which was paid for. She explained to me the process to get my finger prints removed as well as sent me an email stating what I should do for this process to happen.The feedback and response via telephone and email was so clear and helpful that I would recommend this firm to other. The service was worth every cent.Today I followed Clara advice and was informed that my case was not withdrawn. I was confused and heartbroken. I am not worried I have complete confidence if the matter is brought back to court that SD Law will be my best choice to get my name cleared.YOU CAN NOT PUT A PRICE ON FREEDOM.I will pay double to SD Law as my experience with them was out of this world. After the worst experience I have ever gone through and gave up on believing people actually care. SD Law showed me there is still hope and people who care.THATS HOW GREAT THEY ARE.Thank you Simon and Clara for everything you have done for me. I will definitely keep you on stand by.read more
Faelyn Edmonds
Faelyn Edmonds
09:04 05 Jul 21
Thank you for your assistance. Unfortunately when we didn't receive a call back to arrange for an hours appointment, we... had to find another attorney as our case is urgent. They have already sent my landlord an email and are ready to go to the court tomorrow to get a spoliation should the landlord continue with his threats. We can sleep peacefully tonight now. But again thanks for the advise earlier. I wish you all the very bestread more
Winslow Wilton
Winslow Wilton
15:10 22 Jun 21
As an accommodation establishment based in Cape Town where SD Law represented us in High Court. We had a rather urgent... situation when we were preparing to evict a guest who over a length of time had rental arrears issues which our own attempts were futile to resolve. The guest was an advocate himself and we were aware that we would require formidable defense ourselves when urgent litigation was launched against us in an attempt to thwart the eviction process. Simon and Fritz ensured our rights were protected and that our business integrity was kept intact. They arranged junior counsel to make the legal process more reachable in affordability for us and due to the nature of the defense we required Simon made himself available and present all the way through, advising and formulating strategy with counsel and Fritz was always readily available only a phone call, message or email away to offer sound strategy and advise. Simon and Fritz with counsel to be at the forefront in our representation in matters before the court, were our legal team as a whole, who had such a genuine depth of knowledge in law and not law alone and who were well versed in navigating legal matters provided us with the adequate defense we needed against an urgent interdict and urgent spoliation application. In short, to say the insistency of our opposition made for a rather difficult case which was handled, I would say, flawlessly by Simon, Fritz and appointed counsel representing us. In addition they also won with costs awarded against our opposition launching urgent litigation against us.With the war of ideas, which is one of the most important inventions ever made (an Ancient Greek invention) we are provided with the possibility of fighting with words and ideas to overthrow mistaken ones, with this very process forming the very basis of our civilization, especially all of its legal and parliamentary institutions - a necessity is adequate defense and representation who has the reasoning power, knowledge and capabilities to pursue the great quest of obtaining favorable outcomes in legal matters which one becomes involved in. Simon and Fritz at SD Law will handle your situation with care and responsibility, with a keen awareness of how to avoid hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty. Along with appointed counsel they show compassion, dignity and respectfulness. With these qualities they are formidable in their pursuits. At every step of the way the sentiment of being in safe hands will be accompanied by their skill sets. They dedicate themselves in communication and if your situation has urgency, as ours had, they will be readily available to resolve it. Their time is genuinely valued for their fees.read more
Msimelelo mdledle
Msimelelo mdledle
21:16 10 Jun 21
I had a rental issue and SD Law Attorneys was the only Legal firm that immediately responded to my request within less... than three (3) minutes after I have written an email to them. Their quick response, professionalism and their willingness to set-up a free introductory consultation meeting really moved me. Big-up to SD Law Attorneys.read more
Owen Wilson
Owen Wilson
11:17 18 May 21
I approached Simon with some help in a sensitive family matter and he responded to my inquiry in 5 minutes, in a... thoroughly professional and helpful manner. Within an hour I knew exactly what was required and was able to deal with my issue immediately. I would highly recommend SD Law!read more
Aidan John Walsh
Aidan John Walsh
08:47 29 Apr 21
I had the best nights sleep I've had in a long time after a consultation with Chris (and Mehra). The confidence and... reassurance I have been given that my situation can be resolved has allowed me to finally relax, as though for the first time. I feel that I was not only heard, but understood, and that my best interests and my rights were explained and considered. Honestly, I ignored all my friends at the time, but hearing a lawyer say it made more sense. I heard what I needed to hear and I'm grateful.read more
Andrew Holland
Andrew Holland
14:44 28 Apr 21
What do we all want when employing the services of a professional? Service, knowledge, and most importantly... communication. Throughout the entire process of dealing with Simon and everyone at SD Law I have been pleasantly surprised by every aspect of their offering.Simons' knowledge of the law is second to none and the professionalism of all at his practice is unrivalled. They have communicated with me at each and every step of the process and when one is usually met with an invoice, there is usually an accompanying wince. I can say in all honesty that when I received the invoice for a service par excellence I was not only happy to pay it but secretly probably would have paid more.Now it isn't often you will hear me say that!read more
Lilian Smith
Lilian Smith
17:04 30 Mar 21
I wish to sincerely thank SD Law Attorney's for the prompt efficient and professional manner in which my query was... dealt with. I would highly recommend them for their excellent service. The advice and service received was beyond my expectation. Thank you once againread more
Jacqueline de Vos
Jacqueline de Vos
07:23 11 Mar 21
My husband and I had a telephonic consultation with Simon and Chris yesterday. We needed legal advice about our son who... has been bullied by the same boy for three years. Both attorneys gave us sound advice which took everything into consideration. They gave us detailed information on what we need to put in place now and what the next steps should be should there be another bullying incident. I came away feeling very supported, reassured and well informed. I know that I can contact them at any time now if something happens and they will take all the necessary actions. They have a very good understanding of our matter and have applied a lot of thought to it. Thank you, Simon and Chris!read more
Kenneth Dunn
Kenneth Dunn
11:36 10 Feb 21
Simon and Chris from SD Law have been an incredible help to me and my family through a very challenging time. They have... always been available to provided sound advice on short notice and it is evident that their experience is extensive as they knew exactly what needed to be done at any point. They have exceeded my expectations to the nth degree. They are exactly the type of firm you need to navigate you through uncertain and stressful times. Definitely the firm I will reach out to if I need help in the future.read more
JM
JM
21:03 06 Feb 21
I engaged with Simon and Christopher for legal advice relating to a complicated and sensitive situation. From the very... first interaction, they were both professional, understood the sensitivity of the case and were very approachable and available. The advice received was clear and effective and I was able to ensure that the issue was dealt with quickly and efficiently. I would definitely recommend SD Law for any matter. They ensure that you receive the right advice, in the best manner possible, without the stress and anxiety that such situations can cause. SD Law is also progressive and informative in their approach to helping people. I am happy with my outcome!read more
Byron - Clear Sky Leds
Byron - Clear Sky Leds
12:43 05 Feb 21
Simon from SD Law helped me respond swiftly and decisively to what proved a minor matter for which I'm truly grateful... in more ways than one. Simon and his team really went that extra mile and got to the bottom of things rapidly. He responded to my emails almost immediately and gave me the advice I needed. Five stars for Simon and SD Law. Look no further.read more
Jacqui Marlin
Jacqui Marlin
06:30 26 Jan 21
Simon and his team gave me top services, five star professional advices and fast analysis of the problems, leading to... good communication and explanations as well as implementation of decisions. The results were very positive, and i certainly will recommend the use of Simon and team services to people seeking for legal advices and services.read more
Louise van der Merwe
Louise van der Merwe
12:37 22 Jan 21
Extremely helpful and responsive attorneys firm!! My bad tenant is gone forever! Highly recommend SD Law Attorneys.... Bravo Guys.read more
Brian Tapson
Brian Tapson
10:53 04 Dec 20
I was skeptical to contact another Attorney firm as my previous Attorney firm I used was such a bad and disappointing... experience.With SD Law Cape Town Attorney I had the best service I could have asked for. Incredible service I must say. From my first email query, to my first consultation to my current standings all been have been brilliant.I'm so pleased with the work and progress from everyone working on my case. I can tell they genuinely have my best interests in mind. They are honest, straightforward, efficient, effective and have excellent communication skills ... keeping me updated regularly.Highly recommended Attorney Firm.A big thank you to Simone, Chris, Simon, Blake.read more
Murray Wilson
Murray Wilson
06:45 04 Dec 20
Thank you Simon with an eFor you amazing service and your assistance with my unusual Trans Continental Divorce. Thank... you for going above and beyond my expectations in the prompt, personalised and professional services.Take care and Be Safe.read more
Katia Beeden
Katia Beeden
15:01 01 Dec 20
Did you know that you can action a divorce in South Africa even if you got married in another country? For two years,... whilst separated and living back in South Africa, I thought I could not get divorced as I was married in the USA. It was a huge relief to discover that the power actually lay in my hands. I initiated proceedings on my side, in South Africa, and was legally divorced within three months! Thank you Simon Dippenaar and Associates for your help and support facilitating my International Divorce.read more
marlie koen
marlie koen
16:36 02 Nov 20
The best discision I could have made to use SD attorney's. Christopher Kennedy assisted me very quickly and made... something very stressful so easy. Thank you so much, you really made a big difference in my life! I can really recommend them to anyone and will Def use them again in future.read more
Marius Janse van Rensburg
Marius Janse van Rensburg
08:14 09 Oct 20
Great advice and direction on my eviction case with the results. Great attorneys. Thank you very much.
NVC Vicky
NVC Vicky
15:03 14 Sep 20
Professional and knowledgeable is a definite understatement .Not only helpful by means of going many extra miles ,... but compassionate and understanding which regrettably are attributes not often associated with legal practitioners but always associated with Mr Dippennar's firm.I had the pleasure to be assisted personally by Simon and I am very grateful for his knowledge , experience and professionalism .A big and grateful THANK YOU to SD Law and especially to Simon Dippenaar .And for all of you out there in search for an experienced law practitioner that will amaze, do not hesitate , don't look and compare . He is the BEST.Next time you hear 'Simon says" maybe take a break and listen ...You won't regret it .read more
Ryan Swindale
Ryan Swindale
15:45 17 Aug 20
The service I received was phenomenal. Being “stuck” in the USA combined with the effects of Covid -19 made for some... trying and tense times in my life. A family death and a divorce all while what felt like a million miles from home was truly horrible.However Simon and his team put my mind at ease and sorted out a swift, painless divorce for me. They were professional, understanding and brought a calmness to the process.I would not hesitate to recommend their services.read more
Lesca Léa
Lesca Léa
09:40 07 Jun 20
Incredibly compassionate, professional service. I always felt like I was being given transparent guidance and not being... forced into any particular plan of action. Definitely felt supported and in good hands through my legal proceedings. Would highly recommend.read more
Innocentia Erdogan
Innocentia Erdogan
08:22 18 Mar 20
Mr Simon Dippenaar was a God-send in my very touchy international divorce case! He was thorough and articulate in... gathering information and representing the best interests for me. I found Simon to be experienced, responsive, knowledgeable and honest. I would highly recommend Simon to anyone seeking legal representation that is fair, honest and will keep your best interest and unique needs at the forefront. Should the situation arise, I would not hesitate to seek representation from Simon again.read more
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