Criminal Law Regarding Bail Application In South Africa
Criminal law refers to a section of the law that regulates the individual and state relationship including the rights of the accused during the process from the moment of arrest right through to plea bargaining, discoveries, hearings, evidence, motions and trials. It also covers bail.
One should note that under criminal law there are various categories of offenses. Misdemeanours are less serious crimes which could involve jail or fines. Serious crimes include for instance, assault with a deadly weapon, murder, theft, rape, and possession of a large amount of drugs.
Once arrested the individual under South African Criminal Law may be released before the court proceedings are over in one of three main ways including:
- Release into the care of a guardian if the person is still under 18 years of age.
- Release with a warning that the person must appear in court at a specified date.
- Release on bail.
The individual must pay a set amount to the police or to the court depending on the specific level of crime charged for and can then be released to appear in court at the specified date. Should the individual fail to appear in court at the specified date or interfere with any of the witnesses, the person will not receive their bail money back. This is also the case where the person has broken any of the bail conditions.
As part of the release, under criminal law, the person receives a receipt of money paid in addition to a written notice of the court date and place as well as time. The notice includes all the conditions of the bail such as reporting to the police station at specific intervals before and during the court case.
Different Types of Bail
Not all bail has to go through court. There are basically three levels of bail which include bail granted by the police, granted by prosecutors and court grants. If arrested for a minor crime, you may ask for police bail the moment you get to the police station. If, however, the arrest is for a more serious crime, the court will have to make the decision. Make sure you get a receipt for payment. You can still ask the police to contact the prosecutor on duty for a bail application.
When will Bail be Allowed?
If the officers, prosecutor or magistrate is convinced that you will not attempt to flee or be a danger to society, and are not likely to commit more crimes or intimidate a witness you may be granted bail. The attorney will provide the required information as to your address, income and support situation. It doesn’t matter who pays bail as long as the set amount is paid.
Don’t get stranded in jail without bail because you don’t have a criminal law attorney on your side. Make sure you keep the number of our attorneys on you at all times.