Find a South African Lawyer in SA's leading Legal Directory |

Areas of Law and Guides

Criminal Law

Criminal Law

With drunk driving laws in South Africa becoming stricter, more and more people are being caught at police road blocks - guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. If you've been caught drunk driving, you may need legal advice on how to proceed to best protect your rights in Court.

Do I need a Lawyer? Do I need to go to Court? Should I plead guilty? What are my rights once I've been arrested? What is the blood alcohol limit? What is a breathalyser machine? Can they take my driver's licence away from me?

What happens if, for example, you've been assaulted by someone, been robbed, or if you've had your life threatened? Can you report it to the police? Will they investigate the crime? When will you go to Court?

These are all questions that our qualified Lawyers can assist you with. We have a whole panel of criminal Lawyers who can assist you with your Criminal Law question today!

Most recent Criminal Law Articles posted

Van Breda wins live-streaming battle

Murder-accused Henri van Breda has won his battle in the SCA to prohibit Media24 from live-streaming his trial, notes a News24 report. ‘The matter is remitted to the High Court for reconsideration in accordance with the principles set out in the judgment,’ the SCA ruled yesterday, ordering Media24 to pay Van Breda's costs.

Accused Ponzi scheme pastor's houses auctioned

Two posh mansions owned by a Cape Flats pastor accused of running a multi-million rand Ponzi scheme has gone under the hammer. According to a report on the IoL site, the five-bedroom Plattekloof house of Colin Davids, the director of Platinum Forex Group, was sold within 10 minutes at an auction held at the property in Melkhout Street. Bidding started at R2m and the highest bid received was a whopping R4.6m.

Judgment ends 20-year limit on sex offences

Allegations of sexual assault can be pursued at any time and are no longer restricted to 20 years‚ the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) ruled yesterday, according to a TimesLIVE report. Eight alleged victims of the late philanthropist Sidney Frankel‚ who accused him of assaulting them when they were children‚ have won their case to change the law that limited sexual offences other than rape to a prescription period of 20 years.

Businessman ordered to demolish store or face jail

The KZN High Court (Durban) has ordered an Amanzimtoti businessman to demolish the store he erected illegally, or risk prison time, says a report in The Mercury. Deepak Bhardwaj has been found in contempt of a 2015 court order – interdicting him from trading from the Wanda Cele Road property at which Toti Saverite is located. He was given two months to tear the structure down, failing which he could be sent to prison.

Court throws out bid to sue Catholic Church

Racist guesthouse owner Andre Slade’s attempt to sue the Roman Catholic Church – accusing them of blasphemy‚ perjury‚ plagiarism‚ murder and crimes against humanity – was swiftly jettisoned from the court roll yesterday, notes a TimesLIVE report. Judge Mokgere Masipa dismissed Slade’s legal challenge on the basis that the KZN High Court (Durban) does not have jurisdiction over the Vatican‚ and that the form of Slade’s affidavit was incorrect.

Crash truck owner avoids jail in plea agreement

The owner of the truck that crashed into several vehicles on Field’s Hill in 2013 killing 24 people has entered into a plea agreement with the state that will see him avoid jail time. According to a report on the IoL site, Gregory Govender, the owner of Sagekal Logistics, will, under the plea and sentence agreement, pay a combined fine of R25 000.

Warned once, then jailed for theft

A previous conviction and suspended sentence for theft did not deter Martha Broodryk from committing a similar offence, and this week she paid the penalty in the SCA, which confirmed a five-year prison term for the second offence. The Nelspruit Regional Court had in 2005 sentenced Broodryk to a six-year prison term‚ wholly suspended‚ for theft of R200 000 from her employer, notes a TimesLIVE report.

Dagga – Arrest Risk Remains

Following on from the judgment in the Prince v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others case there is a lot of confusion as to whether dagga (cannabis) remains an illegal drug in South Africa, fuelled in part by conflicting media reports.

Forfeiture of illegal gambling winnings hailed

More than R1m made from illegal online gamblers around the country has been confiscated and forfeited to the state in what the government has hailed as unprecedented court proceedings, says a Cape Times report. The Department of Trade and Industry said about R1.25m was derived from illegal gambling activities, and specifically online gambling.

Another police vicarious liability case at ConCourt

The question of whether the Minister of Police can be held vicariously liable for a reservist in uniform who shot his girlfriend at dinner is to be heard by the Constitutional Court in August, according to a TimesLIVE report. Twice before the court has dealt with police criminality. In 2005 it held that the Minister was vicariously liable for the actions of three on-duty policemen who raped a stranded 20-year-old woman. And in 2011 the Minister was held vicariously liable for damages after the brutal rape of a 13-year-old by a policeman on standby duty.

Victims fight to change Criminal Procedure Act

The alleged sexual assault victims of the late philanthropist and stockbroker Sidney Frankel had their dignity violated by a section in the Criminal Procedure Act which prevents their complaints from being prosecuted after 20 years of the event. According to a TimesLIVE report, this is the view of Anton Katz SC‚ counsel for eight people who claim Frankel sexually assaulted them when they were between seven and 15 during the 1970s and 1980s.

Can I be prosecuted for breaking the speed limit?

Mandie is cruising along at 31 km/h over the speed limit in an attempt to keep up with the rest of the cars on the road. She thinks she is simply going with the flow of the traffic when suddenly she sees flashing lights in her rear-view mirror. Mandie does not take traffic laws seriously and has come to accept traffic fines as a “fact of life”. She regards transgression as bending the rules rather than the commitment of a crime.

Bid to overturn time limit for sexual assault prosecutions

The Teddy Bear Foundation‚ represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at Wits University‚ has been admitted to intervene as amicus curiae in a case involving a sexual offender for offences allegedly committed decades ago, says a TimesLIVE report. The case will be heard at the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) on Monday.

Van Breda livestreaming argued in SCA

The constitutional rights of the media and the public cannot be over-emphasised, Advocate John Butler SC, for Media24, said yesterday in heads of argument in the SCA case on live streaming the axe killing trial under way in Cape Town. Transparency and accountability are the fundamental values of the Constitution.

Does paying a fine result in a criminal record?

People are often advised to pay admission of guilt fines after they had been arrested for some offence.  What people do not understand of course is that once their fingerprints have been taken by the local police station and they have appeared in Court should they then decide to pay an admission of guilt fine, they would of course get a criminal record against their names. 

Contravening the Domestic Violence Act

It is a common occurrence in our Courts when that parties separate they often require domestic violence orders against one another.  These domestic violence orders usually prohibits or permits certain actions from either party and should these provisions in the so-called interdicts be beached, the aggrieved party would of course be able to approach the local police station for the offender to be arrested. 

Facebook Defamation

Many people are of the view that what they write on Facebook of course has no consequences and accordingly they often make comments about individuals thinking that these platforms are safe to do so. That is off course not true.

Magistrate stands firm in face of Coligny uproar

Three houses in the North West town of Coligny were set alight, a farm was under attack and rubber bullets and shock grenades were used hours after the local Magistrate’s Court, holding it cannot ‘be held ransom’ to public opinion, allowed two white farmerworkers, Pieter Doorewaard (26) and Phillip Schutte (34), to be released on bail yesterday, notes Legalbrief.

SCA, ConCourt bids to bar trial video streaming

The NPA and murder accused Henri van Breda have applied to the SCA and the Constitutional Court to oppose an order allowing video streaming in a criminal trial, Die Burger reports. Western Cape DPP Rodney de Kock claims in his affidavit that the order of the Western Cape High Court infringes on three fundamental personal rights: the right to privacy, the right to freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial.

R1m damages for wrongful arrest and detention

Ishmael Mbanjwa (29) – arrested for ‘being part of the gang' that robbed The Carousel Casino in November 2005 – will receive just more than R1m in damages from the police for wrongful arrest. A Pretoria News report says Mbanjwa instituted a R1.2m claim against the police after he was locked up for five months in prison.

Mentioned in