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7 tips if you are arrested

Being arrested is scary, but remember these 7 tips for arrest so you don’t make matters worse

Tips if you are arrested in South Africa

The first time you are arrested is a very frightening experience, particularly if you think you may have been wrongfully arrested. Unfortunately, this can occur in a roadblock. Even if you have made a mistake and the arrest is justified, it is within your power to limit the damage, or to make matters worse. Remember these seven tips if you are arrested for the best possible outcome. 

  1. Even if you believe you are not guilty of any offence, do not resist arrest. You can deal with wrongful arrest later, but resisting arrest can lead to further complications. You may even experience physical harm.
  2. Don’t offer explanations or try to talk your way out of the arrest. It simply won’t work. The police have to follow procedure and any attempt to explain your circumstances is futile. You have the right to remain silent and avoid incriminating yourself. Don’t say anything until your attorney is with you. Simply say you will speak in court.
  3. Make a mental note of everything that happens. You have constitutional rights and your rights must be read to you. Legal process must be followed and if the police fail to follow correct procedure, it may help your defence. So observe your situation closely, however tempting it might be to “switch off”.
  4. If you are with a friend or family member, give them your valuables for safekeeping. Your friend may be able to call your attorney and notify your family. If you are alone, you will be allowed to make a phone call. Use it wisely. Call your attorney, if you have one, who will be able to arrange bail for you and notify your family. Otherwise, contact a reliable friend or family member who can organise bail with your attorney. Don’t call your drinking buddy – you don’t want to be left stranded in a cell because they forgot to follow up.
  5. Arrange bail through an experienced attorney. The nature of the offence has a huge influence on your bail application. A minor offence won’t pose a problem, and the onus is on the State to prove why you should not be granted bail. However, if it is a serious offence, the onus shifts to you as the accused to show why you should be released. An attorney with extensive experience of bail matters is vital for the best chance of release.
  6. Once you have been granted bail, someone will have to pay the bail amount before you are released. Keep the original bail receipt in a safe place because your bail will not be refunded without the original receipt. There are no copies.
  7. Arrange a consultation with your attorney as soon as possible, while everything is fresh in your mind. Tell them everything that happened and work out a strategy. You will be given a court date, but in all likelihood the matter will be postponed for further investigation. If the state prosecutor decides there is a case to answer, your attorney will obtain a copy of the contents of the docket to begin preparing your defence.

Save our number…but try not to need it!

Cape Town attorneys SD Law & Associates are experts in bail and criminal defence. If you are arrested, contact criminal defence lawyer Simon Dippenaar on 076 116 0623. Save the number in your phone…better safe than sorry.

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This entry was posted in Arrest, Arrested Unlawfully, Bail Lawyer, Detention, Roadblocks, Unlawful Arrest and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

The information on this website is provided to assist the reader with a general understanding of the law. While we believe the information to be factually accurate, and have taken care in our preparation of these pages, these articles cannot and do not take individual circumstances into account and are not a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal matter that concerns you, please consult a qualified attorney. Simon Dippenaar & Associates takes no responsibility for any action you may take as a result of reading the information contained herein (or the consequences thereof), in the absence of professional legal advice.