WHEN CAN A POLICE OFFICIAL ARREST A PERSON WITHOUT A WARRANT OF ARREST?

Posted on Posted in Criminal law

 

Section 40 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 allows a Peace Officer (Police Officer) to make an arrest without a warrant in the following circumstances:

  • When a person commits or attempt to commit any offence in a Police Officers presence;
  • In the event where a Police Official reasonably suspects anyone of having committed an offence as referred to in Schedule 1 of the Criminal Procedure Act;
  • Where a person attempt to escape or escape from lawful custody can be arrested without a warrant;
  • Anyone who has in his possession any implement of housebreaking or car breaking can be arrested without a warrant;
  • Anyone who was found in possession of anything which the Official reasonably suspects to be stolen property or property dishonestly obtained can be arrested without a warrant.
  • Anyone who is found at any place at night in circumstances which afford reasonable grounds for believing that such person has committed or is about to commit an offence can be arrested without a warrant;
  • Anyone who is reasonably suspected of being or having been in unlawful possession of stock or produce can be arrested without a warrant;
  • Anyone who is reasonably suspected of committing or having committed an offence by making o supplying possession or conveyance of intoxicating liquor or of dependence producing drugs in contravention or any law governing the above can be arrested without a warrant;
  • Anyone who is found in any gambling house or at a gambling table in contravention of any law relating to the suppression of gambling or games of chance can be arrested without a warrant;
  • Anyone who wilfully obstructs a Police Official in his execution of his duty can be arrested without a warrant;
  • Anyone whom is reasonably suspected of being a prohibited immigrant in the Republic can be arrested without a warrant;
  • Anyone whom is suspected of being a deserter from the South African National Defence Force can be arrested without a warrant;
  • Anyone whom a Police official reasonably suspects of not fully complying with a criminal sentence imposes by a Court can be arrested without a warrant.

 

In the event where a Police Official wishes to arrest a person on certain grounds without a warrant, indicate to the official that you are aware of Section 40 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. Indicate further to the Arresting Officer that you wish to see a warrant due to the reason that he cannot arrest you without a warrant (only if the situation does not fall within Section 40 of Act 51 of 1977).

 

Should the Arresting Officer proceed with the arrest, caution the Arresting Officer that the arrest MAY be unlawful. If the official proceeds to make the arrest, contact an Attorney immediately.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE RESIST ARREST OTHERWISE YOU MAY FACE CHARGES OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE.

 

For any further queries regarding the above, or to schedule a consultation contact us:

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