#JoinTheQueue SOS Helpline | 2-minute Recorded Instructions: 011 568 2466 | Emergency SOS: 063 174 0938

Home

Home 2017-11-07T06:21:23+00:00

You can still get arrested for Dagga in 2017. When you get arrested, you will be asked to sign several papers. Signing admission of guilt will get you a criminal record, so DON’T (you don’t have to!). If you pay bail however, make sure to sign for that money if you want it back.

Help Starts Here

At your first court appearance you simply need to ask for postponement as we will be helping you and you need time do do your paperwork.

 

Our role in this is to help you apply for a STAY OF PROSECUTION. This means your case is put on hold and that the outcome of your case depends on that of a bigger case. That case is that of The Dagga Couple.

 

Once your paperwork is completed and printed, you will hand it to the police, the court and the prosecutor to be approved, stamped and signed. The process takes roughly 21 working days. If your next court appearance is sooner, go to court and ask for postponement. You then take the completed paperwork application to the High Court and if granted you will not get a criminal record or a fine or a prison sentence.

 

This application can be done WITHOUT A LAWYER.

Download the Know Your Rights E-Book

In order to download this free book with everything you need to know about your legal rights and Cannabis in South Africa, please subscribe to our newsletter, your e-book will then be mailed to you.

Make Use of Our Free Resources

  • What to expect, say and do when arrested, in the Know Your Rights E-Book

  • 2 sets of recorded interviews with emergency arrest advice (see playlists below)

  • A detailed discussion of what your rights are, in the Know Your Rights E-Book

  • Detailed instructions on how to do the application process for a Stay of Prosecution

Playlist 1: Discussion of the Know Your Rights Booklet

Playlist 2: Discussion of FAQs

Initial FAQ

If you are at home: Be calm.  If they are outside, go the gate, but do not open it.  Ask to see a search warrant. If they do not have a search warrant, they will probably say that they don’t need one “if they have due cause to suspect that there are illegal drugs on the property.” Let them in. If you have an attorney that can come straight away, ask if they would be so kind as to wait for you to call your attorney, and for your attorney to arrive, before entering your property (if no search warrant). Remember that you MUST be present when they search any area of your property so make sure that they do not split up and search areas without you present. Unfortunately it is a sad reality that police have been known to “plant” evidence when you are not looking. Police have also been known to steal victim’s property so BE ALERT!

Very important: Make sure that nobody moves or cleans up anything while you are away from your property. When you get home make sure that you have a witness present and take detailed photographs of anything that the police may have broken or mess that they might have made. Check all your valuables and make a list of anything that is missing. Report this to your attorney or your nearest police station as soon as possible.

If you are not at home and someone lets you know that the police are there, GO HOME STRAIGHT AWAY and follow the steps above.

The police will probably say that they don’t have to have a search warrant if they suspect that there are illegal drugs on the property. When the police do not have a search warrant they usually enter the property anyway by arriving in the middle of the night and gaining access while you are asleep. This is what happened to The Dagga Couple. They lifted the gate off of its rails and woke them up. There is nothing you can do to get rid of them, just allow them to search and the matter will be taken up in court. Be polite and ensure them that you know your rights.

Go to www.jointheq.co.za and complete the section that asks for your Name & email address (as if you want to download our Know-Your-Rights booklet) After confirming your email address, you will immediately receive a welcome email which lists the arrest sequence, what to expect and what to do. Forward this email reply to whoever is coming to your rescue, perhaps to two or three people, just to be sure. The best thing to do is Know Your Rights BEFORE you are arrested! Why not download the booklet now and read the Arrest Sequence? You can also phone our Emergency Helpline on 011-568-2466. The person you speak to will also be able to assist you with what to say to the magistrate when you appear in court.

Yes you can BUT only if you don’t have any previous convictions (they check), or if you were arrested for less than 115g of weed. This is entirely at the discretion of the investigating officer if you are asking for police bail. Most of the time it happens that the investigating officer goes home at the end of the day and you are left in the police cells. When you get to court on the next working day all you have to do is ask the judge for bail so that you can get legal advice. This will be granted if you do not have any previous convictions and if there are no other complicating factors such as firearms or large amounts of cash found in your possession. You do not need an attorney if there are no complicating factors but be sure to contact us to make sure.
NO!! There may just be a decent lawyer who happens to be at the cells visiting another client, ask to see their Law Association membership card.  We can highly recommend you call 0861 BAIL ME (0861 224 563). These attorneys are on our legal team, and have been an integral part of creating JoinTheQueue.  They don’t need to have the process explained to them and they certainly won’t be advising you to sign an admission of guilt like most other attorneys do. “Bail touts” trawl the police cells looking for vulnerable people and you will never see the money you pay them again!
You can take warm clothes, and shoes without laces, but most stations won’t allow food or drink into the cells. Cigarettes are usually confiscated. Try popping a box into a jacket pocket.

You won’t be released until bail is paid.

NO! The police make it sound very tempting: “Just sign here and you can go.” You WILL end up with a criminal record. If you have done this without knowing the consequences you will have 3 weeks to contest it. You have to hire an attorney to do this for you and it’s an expensive process, could cost you as much as R10 000. Know Your Rights!

You only have to give your name and address, and state whether you have previous convictions/outstanding warrants for your arrest / cases pending against you.  Tell the truth. For the rest, simply state “I will make my statement in court”.

If the police arrest you at your home and there are children under the age of 18 present, they will usually let you make arrangements for a family member / friend to come and take the children into their care until you are released. If they do not do this, you are allowed 1 phone call and you MUST arrange for an attorney to come to the police cells. Save our BailMe attorney’s number in case this happens. 0861BailMe (0861 224 563). You can also phone our helpline 011 5682466.

If there are young people over the age of 18 they will probably be arrested with you. The police usually arrest all people on the property if they find any Cannabis so Know Your Rights!

A favourite trick of the police is to arrest people on Cannabis charges on a Thursday or Friday and they particularly like to do this just before a long weekend. The police may not detain you for longer than 48 hours without a court appearance. They will only take you to court on the next working day, hence the arrests just before a weekend as weekends do not count within the 48 hours. So you might need to spend one or two nights (or more) if you are arrested over a weekend or long weekend.  If you call our bail attorneys on 0861 BAIL ME (0861 224 563) they might be able to arrange for a prosecutor to go to the cells  to negotiate after hours bail.

Can I ask them to secure the perimeter and we get a 3rd party onto the property to search? This is very wishful thinking! If the police want to search it is best to allow them to do so. Objecting to the police searching your property / person means that it is you against the police and this is a very bad idea. You MUST be present when they search so take note if the various officers split up and search areas where you are not present. Be calm and observe what is happening very carefully. Tell the police that you know your rights but DO NOT speak to them more than you absolutely have to.

Something to think about: “You are the company that you keep.” Are you hanging around with dodgy characters who might lead the police to your property?!

How Does This Affect My Life?

Once you have a Stay of Prosecution, charges are withdrawn against you and will not show up in a criminal record search.  Travel or emigration plans should not be negatively affected. Our legal team or your attorney will be able to advise you in more detail.

Will it come up in a criminal record search yet?

Until you have the Stay of Prosecution granted, it may show up as a ‘pending matter’ but this is highly unlikely.  Once you have the Stay of Prosecution, the charge is withdrawn and it no longer shows up under a criminal record search by a potential employer.

When children are involved in an arrest the police have to work closely with the Dept of Social Services, who are charged with protecting the interests of the child. Matters involving children MUST be dealt with through an attorney to ensure that all procedures are followed correctly.

There is usually and attorney involved in every adoption / foster care process so you would be advised to inform that attorney immediately you are arrested on a Cannabis charge. Our legal team is also available to advise on the specifics of your case as it relates to adoption and foster care.

How do I protect my children?

The law treats citizens over the age of 18 as adults. You can protect your children of all ages by being open and honest about your Cannabis use while still impressing upon them that what you are doing is illegal. Sometimes this is difficult to explain to very young children but teenagers MUST know their rights as well as you know yours.

They can’t arrest them too, can they?

The police can arrest whoever they want to and they usually arrest all the people on the property. It is not advisable to try to talk them out of doing this as you want to have as little to say to the police as possible. Each case is different so be sure to know your rights so that you can help all involved to do the right thing. Contact us.

Only if you tell him / her, or the fact that you have been arrested comes out due to your absence from work. Remember to always tell the truth if you are asked but each case / employer is different so be sure to ask for legal advice on employment matters every step of the way. If you decide to JoinTheQueue, bear in mind that you will need to be taking time off work for court appearances as well as various other case-related tasks.

Only if you tell them. You might use this as an opportunity to enlighten them about the latest scientific, medical and legal developments on the Cannabis front. Being open and honest about your Cannabis use is vital for a good relationship with your parents.

Police Procedure/Can We Get The Case Thrown Out?

I was physically assaulted by the police during the bust.

Who do I turn to?

Is there anything you can do to help?

We strongly recommend that you engage the services of an attorney to help you in this regard.

Officially, the people who you would turn to in the event of rape or assault by a police officer: http://www.icd.gov.za/lodge_complaint/lodge_complaint.asp

In some cases an attorney can cite this as evidence in order to get the case thrown out of court. However, anything to do with the evidence associated with the charges against you is a matter which is dealt with once your case goes to TRIAL. Should you wish to JoinTheQueue, your application must be completed BEFORE your case goes to trial. Our office and / or your attorney will be able to advise you on the specifics of your case relating to the evidence against you.

It is very rare that a case is thrown out of court based on the fact that the police did not have a search warrant. BE WARNED: Sometimes the court will say that the case is “struck off the roll” or “provisionally withdrawn”. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT EVERYTHING HAS GONE AWAY! Unless you have it IN WRITING that all charges have been dropped, the police can reinstate charges at any time. We have known of cases where the police came back with “new evidence” 3 years later!

Can the case be withdrawn based on this?

If you have been arrested on a Cannabis charge and taken away from your property, make sure that nobody moves anything while you are away. When you get home, take detailed photographs (with a witness present) of any mess that the police may have made / things they may have broken. Also check all of your valuables and make a list of anything that is missing. You might have to prove that you owned them by producing “proof of purchase” (like you have to for insurance). When cases are complicated by police misconduct, we strongly advise you to employ the services of a trusted attorney who has experience in these matters.

In some cases an attorney can cite this as evidence in order to get the case thrown out of court. However, anything to do with the evidence associated with the charges against you is a matter which is dealt with once your case goes to TRIAL. Should you wish to JoinTheQueue, your application must be completed BEFORE your case goes to trial. Our office and / or your attorney will be able to advise you on the specifics of your case relating to the evidence against you.

It is very common for there to be no food available in police cells. Sorry if you were hungry but there is nothing worth doing about this once you have been released. You are, however, entitled BY LAW to make one phone call. Denying you this amounts to police misconduct and our office and / or your attorney can advise you on how to deal with this.

Previous Conviction Questions

It will affect whether you can be released on Police Bail. You might not be granted Police Bail if you have any previous convictions. This will also mean that you will need to have an attorney present to represent you in court. We have negotiated a maximum fee from our team of attorneys for this purpose. so contact us for help.

If the Admission of Guilt was signed less than 3 weeks ago and it can be proven to the Magistrate that you signed under duress, or the consequences weren’t explained then you can apply to have the Magistrate rescind (withdraw) the Admission of Guilt. If it was longer than  3 weeks ago you’ll have to wait 10 years in order to apply to have your criminal record expunged (cleared).  These can both be costly, lengthy processes.

General Questions

One word. NO. Unfortunately that would be up to the mood of the arresting officer and your initial reaction to him, so be polite. South African citizens are arrested every day, most for very small amounts, so be aware and know your rights.

Yes you can and we strongly advice you to go this route as soon as possible! You will most probably need the services of one of our experienced legal teams, especially if there is asset forfeiture, children, firearms or previous convictions involved. This can be costly but our legal team are experienced and we have negotiated appropriate fees with them for all the JoinTheQueue cases.

Yes they can. Sometimes the police will only arrest the person who is carrying the weed but if it is found in the car they will probably arrest everyone. Good friends will let you know if there is weed around. Be careful of the company you keep, don’t hang around with dodgy people!

The police do this in order to gather evidence in the case against you. Always be careful about what you store on electronic devices. Our legal team will assist you with chasing this up, but usually it’s a bit of a waiting game. Very important: Make sure that both you and the police have signed that they have the items. Ask for a copy of the receipt that is both signed and stamped.

There are various ways in which you can do this and thank you in advance for your support! The first step is to become a member of The Green Network and, in return for a monthly donation, you will be at the forefront of the campaign and be the first to know about further legal involvement.

Then the State has to dig out all of our files, find all the evidence (that hasn’t been sold or smoked) and go through the process of reinstating all of the JoinTheQueue cases.

SOS Contact Form

Contact us with your general enquiries by completing the form below.