It may happen that every now and then that you fall on the wrong side of the law and, depending on the crime allegedly committed, you might have to be detained in a police cell to be bailed out the following day in a magistrates court.
Provided that you are arrested between Monday and Thursday, you will be able to receive bail the following day by a magistrate, however it may happen that yourself or loved one is arrested on a Friday or during the weekend. As the Magistrates courts are closed for the weekend, individuals arrested during this time may unfortunately need to be detained over the weekend only to have bail heard by the Magistrate on the following Monday or Tuesday morning.
Should you find yourself arrested on a Friday evening or over the weekend, it is possible to be granted bail by a senior ranking police official at the relevant police station.
The type of charge is taken into consideration by the senior ranking police official when police bail is requested.
The Criminal Procedure Act allows for individuals who have been arrested for minor crimes to be afforded the opportunity to be granted bail in the aforesaid circumstance.
The minor offences, inter alia, includes: Theft of goods for less than R2500; negligent driving, certain assault cases, crimen iniura, and driving under the influence (drunken driving).
Should your offence fall outside the aforesaid minor offences the senior police ranking official will need permission from the prosecutor before granting bail.
The police bail is a right afforded to all persons who may find themselves being arrested after hours and/or over a weekend.
An attorney needs to be contacted as soon as possible in order to initiate the police bail process.