Remain calm and give your co-operation to the SAPS but do not discuss any merits of the matter with anyone prior to consulting with your attorney first. The merits of the matter is all the surrounding facts of the matter.
If you don’t have access to your cell phone, ask one of the members of the SAPS to grant you an opportunity to call your attorney. If you have access to your cell phone, call your attorney as soon as possible to inform your attorney that you have been arrested. It is crucial to inform your attorney of where you were arrested, which police station you are at, what the charge is that you are arrested for and where they are taking you. If you do not know the contact number of your attorney, phone one of your friends or family members instead and ask them to call a criminal law attorney or commonly known as a bail lawyer that will be able to help you to apply for bail on your behalf. Once a criminal law attorney or “bail lawyer” has been contacted and his services secured, he or she will meet you at the holding cells to consult with you.
Once you have been taken to the holding cells, a member of the SAPS known as an Investigating officer will interview you to complete the charging process by formulating the charge and / or charges against you and gather evidence. It is important at this stage to do as your attorney advised you. If you are still waiting to see your attorney, you are allowed to inform the Investigating Officer that you want to contact your attorney before you can make any statements or answer any questions about the merits of the matter. If the Investigating Officer asks you questions relating to your identity, employment status, residence, etc. you are obliged to give the correct details to the Investigating Officer as such details does not relate to the merits of your matter.
Once you have made contact with your attorney, you can do as the attorney advised you. At this stage you will have to wait for your attorney as he or she will begin with the process of applying for bail and he or she will attempt to secure your release, depending on the charges against you.
This article and the information contained herein does not create an attorney-client relationship and it does not constitute legal advise of any sort. This article is purely intended as a general informative guideline only. It is important to consult with your attorney as soon as possible to follow his or her instructions.
Published by: Jan Smith of Raymond Sutton Incorporated