CRIMINAL LAW:

Criminal law is well developed in our country and a crucial part of the services that we render to clients. It is important that clients are properly represented from the inception of the matter as a client that is not aware of his or her rights can find themselves in a catastrophic position or can incriminate themselves unduly as a result. In this regard we offer the following services: 

  • Bail applications. These applications must be made at the relevant police station or, in some instances, at court. Bail represents a crucial stage of any criminal trial as the outcome of such applications will determine whether or not an accused will be incarcerated until the trial is finalized. It is therefore crucial to procure the services of an attorney from the start of any criminal trial. 
  • Our staff has a comprehensive knowledge of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, as well as of the relevant legislation, provisions and procedures applicable to the prosecution of a wide spectrum of criminal offences, including but not limited to sexual offences, road traffic offences, fraud, theft, failure to pay maintenance etc.
  • All bail applications are dealt with as a matter of urgency by our firm. We have attorneys available 24/7 to specifically deal with these matters as soon as they arise. 


What is bail?

  • Bail is the amount of money paid to ensure the temporary release of a person who has been arrested for an alleged criminal offence. The general rule is that the release on bail should be in the interest of justice.
  • The purpose of bail to ensure that the accused will be present at his trail. 


What information is needed after an arrest?

  • When was the accused arrested?
  • For which offence was the accused arrested?
  • Where is the accused being detained?
  • What is the case number?
  • Who is the investigating officer?
  • What is the personal information of the accused, such as name, surname, residential address, identity number, place of work, marital status, number of children, and next of kin?


 

Frequently asked questions in respect of bail applications:  

 

Where can a person apply for bail 

• The accused's legal representative from our firm will apply for bail at the police station where the accused is being held before the accused's first appearance in court. 

• In some instances bail may not be granted at the police station (as is the case with more serious offences), and the legal representative from our offices will have to apply for bail at court upon the accused's first appearance. 

What should a person do if bail is granted at the police station? 

• The amount set by the police official.in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act, should be paid in full and the accused will then be released from custody. 

• The police will issue a formal receipt and notice indicating the alleged criminal offence together with the date and time the accused should appear at court. 

What happens at the hearing of the application for bail in court? 

• The court may postpone the application for no longer than 7 days, obtain further information needed to make a decision regarding bail, require the prosecutor to place on record the reasons for not opposing the application. 

• The accused or our legal representative is compelled to inform the court whether the accused has been previously convicted of any criminal offence or whether the accused is currently out on bail in respect of any other alleged criminal offence. 

Under what circumstances can bail be denied? 

• There is a chance that the release of the accused will endanger the safety of the public or any person • There is a chance that the accused will avoid trail 

• The is a chance the accused will attempt to influence or intimidate witnesses, or cover and/or destroy evidence 

• There is a chance that the accused will undermine or endanger the functioning of the justice system including the bail system, or 

• There is a chance that the accused will disturb public order or undermine public peace and security.  

What happens to the amount paid for bail after the trial has been finalized?

• The person that made the payment of the bail money should keep the original receipt in safe keeping and when the trial has been finalized, collect the amount paid by presenting the original receipt to the clerk of the court. 

What are the rights of the accused? 

• Legal representation 

• Be informed that he is entitled to bring an application for bail 

• Be informed of the reason for his arrest

 • Be brought before a court within 48 hours after his arrest or on the first court date after the expiry of such period should the 48 hours        expire over a weekend; and 

• A speedy and fair trial