You can still be arrested for Dagga in South Africa. When 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 to do your paperwork.

 

Our role in this is to help you use the CONSTITUTIONAL JUDGEMENT, handed down in September 2018, to assist you in having your case dismissed.

 

Our admin assist service can supply you with a representations document from our lawyers to take with to your next court appearance. This is to assist you in defending yourself.

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. If you have any difficulty, please email us at jointheqfga@gmail.com

Know Your Rights in 2019

IMPORTANT DAGGA ARREST INFORMATION FOR EVERYBODY

PLEASE GIVE COPIES OF THIS BOOKLET TO THE POLICE

SOS HELPLINE 063-174-0938

SOS WEBFORM https://podio.com/webforms/17336590/1165744

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT COPIES OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGEMENT HANDED DOWN IN SEPTEMBER 2018 AND THE POLICE DIRECTIVE ISSUED SOON AFTER. KEEP COPIES OF THESE TWO DOCUMENTS AT HOME AND IN YOUR CAR.

This is written for you… policeman, magistrate, dagga user, grower or trader. From the medical patient who depends on the plant for relief to the casual smoker, frail pensioners, gardeners, artists, students, prosecutors, nurses, everyone who uses, cultivates or trades in this plant. Many people from all walks of life are STILL arrested on Cannabis charges every day in South Africa. Don’t think that you’re immune or invincible… it may be your turn next to take part in this pointless arrest fiasco.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS BEFORE THIS HAPPENS TO YOU.

FOR THE POLICE:

A person’s vehicle, home, bag and pockets are private spaces and cannot be searched without an original signed warrant shown beforehand.

According to case law, an officer cannot search someone’s person, house or car simply because they believe the person is “suspicious”. This simply will not hold up in court.

The Constitutional Court clarified the legal status of warrantless search and seizures on 27 July 2016 (Minister of Police and Others v Kunjana [2016] ZACC 21) and found that these searches infringe on the right to privacy to a degree that cannot be justified, finding sections 11.1 (a) and (g) of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act unconstitutional.

Dealing CANNOT be assumed. The 18 Sept 2018 Constitutional Court ‘Privacy Judgement’ said “there will be cases where it will be difficult to tell whether the possession is for personal consumption or not. In the latter scenario a police officer should not arrest the person because in such a case it would be difficult to show beyond reasonable doubt later in court that that person’s possession of Cannabis was not for personal consumption”. …so the magistrate will throw the case out.

Dealing CANNOT be proved without an undercover operative, marked notes or photographic evidence. Several bags or jars stored together (even near cash!) is NORMAL and still does NOT imply dealing and will NOT hold up in court.

YOU CANNOT ASSUME DEALING JUST BY HOW MUCH DAGGA SOMEONE POSSESSES

Quantity DOES NOT MATTER and is a useless measuring stick. BE AWARE that the law that says more than 115g of Cannabis constitutes dealing has been deemed UNCONSTITUTIONAL in S v Bhulwana; S v Gwadiso 1996 (1) SA 388 (CC).

If you see 50 plants, half of them could be males and the grower could end up with just a few plants. In some instances this is not even enough medicine for one month, let alone a year, and you can only grow outdoor once a year. If you are sick you will need to grow much more than this to have a regular supply of home grown meds. See why quantity DOES NOT REALLY MATTER?

To explain: a patient using a gram of Cannabis oil a day, could need a kilo or more of flowers per week if they make medicine from the plant. It is not unusual to juice an entire plant in a day for health purposes. Therefore an annual harvest stored or kept to smoke (or to make bricks or socks) or to make extracts from, can amount to a substantial amount of Dagga and CANNOT be seen as dealing just like a fully stocked private bar, wine cellar or medicine cabinet in a private home does NOT imply public sales or require police interference, AT ALL. We need the police to UNDERSTAND THIS clearly, put it in their pipes and smoke it!

 

STAY CALM. THIS IS A GROW TENT WITH EXTRACTION FAN AND LIGHTS (sometimes purple or orange). CONTRARY TO NEWS REPORTS, THIS IS NOT A DRUG LAB, IT IS THE BEST WAY TO GROW DAGGA INDOORS AND IS COMPLETELY NORMAL AND LEGAL JUST LIKE OUTDOOR GROW OPERATIONS.

 

This is a syringe with about 3 grams of crude cannabis oil, aka RSO. This is only three days worth of medicine for some, so it is not unusual to possess large amounts.

 

These are all Cannabis extracts and fall into the same category as oils and tinctures. This photo shows extracts each from about a kilogram of Dagga and could last a user several days.

FOR THE PUBLIC:

There are NO licenses, permits, medical certificates or cards, prescriptions or permissions of any kind available in SA (yet). The Concourt Judgement of 18 Sept 2018 allowed for the possession and cultivation of Dagga in private, but left us with a big grey area regarding amounts, policy and law. Parliament has two years to adjust the law to fit this judgment. Until such time, here is some advice:

DON’T GET CAUGHT.

Not being arrested should be a very high priority in your life.

Rule No.1: Be alert when buying Dagga. Cannabis is legal to possess and grow, but we don’t have a law yet to tell us how much is allowed. Buying the good plant is fraught with difficulty and danger. Cannabis traders come in all types and, as with anything in life, there are good traders & bad traders. Avoid buying weed from a stranger on the street at all costs. It’s just too risky as the police may be a few steps behind. Be super vigilant, even if you have known the trader for a long time. A huge proportion of busts happen when the police follow you after you’ve made your purchase. Many traders are in cahoots with the police in return for their immunity. Be alert at all times. It is a good idea to drive the same route to the trader as you intend to drive home. That way you can check if there’s anything suspicious on the way. There is no way of telling what the cops waiting to bust you would look like but trust your instincts. If you suspect anything, leave the area. Your paranoia keeps you safe.

It is important to add here that you should also be super vigilant about WHAT you’re buying. Make sure that the weed looks okay to you and there are no suspicious looking powders at the bottom of the bag. Smell it and be warned if there is an unusual or chemical odour. Unscrupulous traders sometimes lace the plant with addictive substances or powdered glass.

Rule No.2: Be discreet at all times. Be careful what you post on social media and unsecure Cannabis forums.

Rule No.3: Hide it like your life depends on it. Whether it be at home, in your car, when you’re out and about. Don’t leave your smoking paraphernalia lying around, anywhere, at any time. Very clever stash ideas are available online. While growing and possession is allowed in South Africa, we still don’t have clarity from the lawmakers. Currently, the police & the justice system are trying to make dealers out of all possession cases. Don’t TRUST THE AUTHORITIES WITH ANYTHING. SOUTH AFRICA HAS HIGH LEVELS OF CORRUPTION AND YOU NEED TO STAND YOUR OWN GROUND AS A CITIZEN AGAINST A CORRUPT SYSTEM.

Rule No.4: DON’T SMOKE IN PUBLIC. Whereas smoking in the infinite beauty of mother nature is obviously preferable, your home is the safest place to smoke. This does not mean that your home should become a free for all to be blazing and doing as they please, inviting trouble. While your home is your castle the police can still act on allegations. Be a good, considerate neighbour.

Rule No.5: The Constitutional Court has now offered clarity on the legal status of warrantless searches and seizures under the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act and found that these searches infringe on the right to privacy to a degree that cannot be justified and is unconstitutional after the case Minister of Police and Others v Kunjana [2016] ZACC 21. The police cannot arbitrarily search you or your home without being given specific legal authority to do so.

Bear this in mind: The police are not allowed to just put up a roadblock whenever and wherever they want to. The police need to have a written authorisation (warrant) signed by the provincial commissioner (or his designated authority). The authority has to state when and where the roadblock is to be and what the purpose is. Without this the police CANNOT enter your vehicle.You’re entitled to film the police and see the authority for the roadblock at that time.

Obey the rules of the road. Roadblocks are always going to be the bane of our lives. Even though it is now legal to possess Cannabis, hide it like your life depends on it. Ensure that your car is licensed and roadworthy. Only break one law at a time.

Smoking in your car and then hitting a roadblock is the worst of luck. The SAPS know what cannabis paraphernalia is, so smoking gear is best kept out of sight & well hidden in your bag, the cubby hole, or better, the boot. Don’t keep smoked roaches within the car, they stink. Smoking and driving is not the best idea.

A great tip from one of our Advocates is to install a dashcam in your car. Police are more likely to either wave you through the roadblock, or stick to the rules if they pull you over. You are allowed to film the police.

Warrantless searches will still happen and are unlawful and could get the police into serious trouble. Although you would be well within your rights to request that a valid warrant be provided to you before you, your home or your car are searched; this does not necessarily mean that the police will provide this warrant before proceeding with a search. The laws regarding searches at roadblocks may also overwrite any rights (in more extreme situations) that you have to request a warrant before having your vehicle searched. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Rule No.6: Be polite to the police. Keep all interactions with the police to a minimum. You don’t have a duty to interact with the police. Don’t talk to them more than you absolutely have to. It doesn’t matter what you think of the police, when they stop you they immediately have the upper hand. The best way to keep calm is to be polite. The arrogance of some officers can make you mad but just bite your tongue, smile and remember that YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

Rule No.7: KNOW that trading is VERY dangerous. If you’re selling, don’t boast about it. You have to be more discreet than any other member of the Cannabis community. If you are caught you’re in for a long, stressful and expensive battle. Dealing “includes performing any act in connection with the transhipment, importation, cultivation, collection, manufacture, supply, prescription, administration, sale, transmission or exportation of the drug”.

Every day we are asked, “How much can I carry / keep at my home / grow / etc?” The answer is simple, “How much do you need?” As it stands, the Constitutional Court Judgement has placed the onus on the police to prove dealing but you will also have to prove that your plants are for personal use in the end.

BUT… Until such time as we have clear, concise, evidence-based policies in place and the new Cannabis laws have been signed by parliament, the police have the upper hand.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE ARRESTED. You have obeyed Rules 1 – 7 but you have been arrested anyway. This can be a scary and stressful situation. The only way to reduce your fear and make the best of a bad situation is to know your rights and know how to act.

Know in your head that YOU ARE NOT A CRIMINAL. PHONE OUR HELPLINE 063-174-0938

Don’t resist. Make it clear to the officer that you’re co-operating. Again, BE POLITE. Running is a bad idea. Fighting back is a bad idea. Your arrest should follow certain steps.

STEP 1: You’re informed that you have been arrested. Don’t talk. If you have to talk, TELL THE TRUTH. The officer/s may take you to the nearest police station to be processed. Don’t attempt to talk your way out of it in any way. Don’t believe everything the police tell you. It is at this stage that corrupt police officers may “suggest” that you “buy them a cold drink”. Whether you wish to bribe a police officer or not is up to you, but we strongly recommend that you don’t do this. This perpetuates a corrupt system and does our cause a great deal of harm.

BE AWARE THAT SINCE THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGEMENT OF 18 SEPTEMBER 2018, THE POLICE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LOCK YOU UP IN A CELL UNTIL YOUR COURT APPEARANCE. INSTEAD THEY HAVE TO GIVE YOU A SUMMONS WITH A COURT DATE AND LET YOU GO.

If the police take any of your belongings or equipment, make sure they sign a detailed list of any items that the they confiscate from you.

At some stage, your fingerprints may be taken. **If you have other warrants out for your arrest / cases pending, this is when the police will find out.**

STEP 2: The interview process. Tell the truth. Your case will be assigned to an Investigating Officer. He / she will interview you. Apart from your name and address you don’t have to tell them anything. Anything you say may aggravate the case against you. Don’t be fooled by subtle promises of lesser punishment or getting the court to be lenient.

The police may want to confirm your address before they let you go. This they will do by sending a van to the address and speaking to the people there or the neighbours. The police will accept a parent of the accused to come and depose an affidavit that the arrested person is their offspring. A utility bill can also help if the arrested person has given the same address.

At the start of the interview, say: “My name is … and I live at …. …. I have been informed of my right to remain silent and respectfully wish to remain silent at this time”. The police will take you seriously if you call your attorney and you have his card. You’re constitutionally entitled to speak to him. If you have an attorney, say: ”My attorney’s name is …. and his telephone number is … I would like to contact him now.” NEVER TRUST LAWYERS THE POLICE RECOMMEND. RATHER ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO RECOMMEND ONE

STEP 3: Know your arrest paperwork. Examples of the following documents are available on our website.

PAPER 1: NOTICE OF RIGHTS IN TERMS OF THE CONSTITUTION (SAPS 14A) Read this through carefully. Make sure all names & dates are correct and sign.

PAPER 2: BAILJ398 (82/11616) The police may set bail or let you go with a date to appear in court and the magistrate will then set bail. This is entirely at the discretion of the police. You are allowed to possess the plant in private, so you can only be arrested for dealing or possession with clear intent to sell and dealing CANNOT be proved without an undercover operative, marked notes or photographic evidence.

If you’re suspected of being a dealer, there is a chance the police will want to keep you in the cells until your court appearance. However, YOU MUST ASK FOR POLICE BAIL. The senior police are authorised to grant this. You will not be granted police bail if you have any previous convictions / cases pending.

Also on this piece of paper is an ADMISSION OF GUILT section. If you have been caught with dagga the police will offer you the chance of admitting guilt, paying R300 – R500 and walking free. DO NOT SIGN THIS SECTION OR PAY A FINE BECAUSE THAT WILL GIVE YOU A CRIMINAL RECORD. The police will NOT tell you what the consequences are of signing or paying an admission of guilt fine. The police also don’t tell you that you have 3 weeks to pay this fine and demand payment to let you go. The only time that you pay the police any money is after signing paper no. 2 (bail). Criminal records can only be expunged after 10 years and this is not automatic. It is a lengthy and expensive process that can be avoided by knowing your rights!

You’re NOT A CRIMINAL, DON’T SIGN OR PAY THE FINE. Instead, ask the police to give you the next paper:

PAPER 3A: ANNEXURE TO WRITTEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT IN TERMS OF SECTION 56 OF ACT 51 OF 1977.  This paper explains that, if you pay the fine, you will receive a criminal record. Police will most likely not offer you this paper and it is good for our cause that you ASK FOR IT.

If you have been caught and have signed an admission of guilt fine it can be possible to have the admission withdrawn. Contact us for more info regarding this but you need to ACT FAST. There is a time limit for cancelling the criminal record if you were not informed before paying the fine.

BAIL will only apply if there is clear evidence of dealing, otherwise you cannot be put in the cells.

LEGAL REPRESENTATION: You’re entitled to represent yourself and we encourage people to do this for their first court appearance. The state provides attorneys to those who cannot afford them but these attorneys very seldom have any knowledge of matters concerning Cannabis. Please contact us if you’re unsure about legal representation. We are now working with Legal Aid lawyers and, if you decide to become part of our Join The Queue project, we will help you with all the legal paperwork you need. Our project does not cover attorney’s fees for court appearances

YOUR FIRST COURT APPEARANCE:  You don’t have to have an attorney present at this first appearance in order to get a postponement. Ask the magistrate for more time in order to consult an attorney / apply for legal aid. One of two things can happen. Firstly, the charges can be dropped. This is when the police have obviously made errors in terms of the law, and it happens often. It is unlikely that you will get the charges dropped at your first court appearance. Secondly, this appearance will result in a postponement of the case for about two weeks. Take careful note of your next court date and follow every word that is said in court.

It is highly unlikely that the magistrate will ask you to plead at your first appearance but if he/she does, indicate not guilty. Silence will/should be interpreted as not guilty, as not entering a plea is considered a not guilty plea. You’re entitled to change your plea at any time before conviction.

 

 

 

Once you’re through the first appearance, you need to take the following into account:

  1. ARE YOU GOING TO JOIN THE QUEUE?

We believe that the laws prohibiting Cannabis are unconstitutional. The prohibition of this plant is irrational and based on propaganda and outright lies. The Dagga Couple are challenging the constitutionality of the prohibition of Dagga. The arguments we are making are clear and rational. We have been helping people arrested on Dagga charges since 2013 so we have learned a great deal. If you would like to benefit from all the various strategies that we have under our belts, this is called Join The Queue. If you would like more information on how to do this, please contact us immediately on

063-174-0938. You will need to contact us BEFORE your case goes to trial if you would like to Join The Queue.

We already have a long list of cases where prosecution has been put on hold and, as a result of the Davis Judgement in The Western Cape High Court in March 2017 & its subsequent confirmation by the Constitutional Court, we are able to speed up your defence process with customised “representations” where we enter into correspondence with the prosecuting authorities regarding your case.  Everything will be explained to you if you contact us. The best way to do this is to fill in this form so that we have all the details and we will call you:

https://podio.com/webforms/17336590/1165744

  1. GETTING THE CHARGES DROPPED

It is very risky to try to get the charges dropped without an attorney. Your attorney is entitled to state in court or submit a written a representation as to why the prosecution should cease. There are various grounds on which this can be done, the main being police incompetence. If this is successful it ends the matter there.

THE CASE GOES AHEAD TO TRIAL: If the state goes ahead you have the right to test the state’s case. This means that the state will present their case and you will have the right to listen to it and test it. The state will try to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were trading in what you were caught with. Each case is different. Your attorney can do his/her best to shake the state’s case. There are various ways that your attorney can argue your case: Police incompetence, an inaccurate or non-existent forensic report, inaccurate charge sheet, medical / psychological condition of the defendant, technicalities surrounding search warrants, to name but a few.

SENTENCING: Prosecutors are always keen on having the accused plead guilty as they love upping their conviction rates. Don’t plead guilty unless you’re absolutely sure that you have been given good legal advice. Been found guilty? There is a possibility that the State has done its job properly and you’re convicted. Dealing in cannabis is usually punished by a fine with the alternative of prison. If you cannot afford the fine then you will be incarcerated. The amount payable once incarcerated reduces by the proportion of the sentence the person has served.

HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST ME? If you can get through the first part of your arrest on your own and you’re out on bail, you will have some time to organise an attorney or decide to Join The Queue. If you decide to hire a private attorney then you can negotiate fees, or have time to brief your legal aid attorney properly. Legal aid attorneys might be free of charge and we will brief your attorney, as well as supply your legal documents. Attorneys charge anything from R1500 to R10 000 per day.

We ESTIMATE that the average bust in South Africa costs the victim R10 000 to R30 000. The cost depends on the severity of the charges. There is no standard to sentencing across South Africa, so there is no knowing what fine you might have to pay on top of your attorney’s fees. If you decide to Join The Queue then you don’t necessarily need an attorney, but be sure to contact us as soon as possible to let us know of your decision. Join The Queue is by far the most reasonable and sensible route to go.

Growing, as discussed earlier, fits under the expanded definition of dealing, which includes cultivation of the plant. The courts do accept that people can, and do, grow for themselves. However, it needs to be believable that you grew for yourself. Small is beautiful.

There are many players in this crazy farce called prohibition – police wanting to make their arrest targets, attorneys practising their profession, snitches working for the police, disgruntled ex-partners or neighbours, employers & employees, schools, doctors, rehabs, the government… the list goes on, but the bottom line is this: As the Cannabis Culture in South Africa, we are the victims of prohibition, we are not criminals.

Arm yourself with knowledge, know your rights. Always tell the truth.

We get many of the same questions, over and over again! Arm yourself with knowledge, DON’T THINK THAT CANNABIS IS SAFELY LEGAL YET AND CHALLENGE THOSE WHO TELL YOU THIS MISINFORMATION.

TRADING IN CANNABIS, IN ANY FORM, REMAINS COMPLETELY ILLEGAL IN SOUTH AFRICA

Many people have been involved in the compilation of this guide and we acknowledge their input. Please share your story on The Dagga Couple website. That way we get more insight into different situations. Stories about your encounters with the police, stories about Cannabis and health, stories about your relationship with this amazing plant. It all helps. All stories, pics and videos are welcome on https://www.daggacouple.co.za/dagga-stories

 

BE SAFE, BE CAREFUL AND KEEP IT GREEN

JOIN OUR VIBRANT CANNABIS LEGALISATION COMMUNITY TODAY!

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Admin Assist R2990 – Full Service & Support

When you apply to join the queue, we will stand by you, supply all your court documents for free (you will need to pay for printing)  and our lawyers are available to you at reduced rates whenever possible. We just cannot pay for lawyers’ court appearances. You are not alone, we have saved many like you.

First complete step 1 below – payment through Payfast, and then step 2 – complete the form. This Admin Assist Service costs R2990.

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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.

A person’s vehicle, home, bag and pockets are private spaces and cannot be searched without an original signed warrant shown beforehand.

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.

Complete the section above on this page 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 063 174 0938. 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), and only after they have confirmed your address.

BAIL will only apply if there is clear evidence of dealing, otherwise you cannot be put in the cells.

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 contact us if you are unsure.

NO!! Always ask to see a Law Association membership card. “Bail touts” trawl the police cells looking for vulnerable people and you will never see the money you pay them again! NEVER TRUST LAWYERS THE POLICE RECOMMEND. RATHER ASK YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS TO RECOMMEND ONE. The police often have criminal relations with lawyers and magistrates whereby they abuse the public so it is best to use outside help to avoid these corporate circles of corruption. Don’t TRUST THE AUTHORITIES WITH ANYTHING. SOUTH AFRICA HAS HIGH LEVELS OF CORRUPTION AND YOU NEED TO STAND YOUR OWN GROUND AS A CITIZEN AGAINST A CORRUPT SYSTEM.

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. If you sign admission of guilt, you will need to hire an attorney to remove your record and it’s an expensive process that could cost you as much as R10 000. Know Your Rights! Unless you were clearly dealing, the police must give you a court date and HAVE TO LET YOU GO and you cannot be held in the cells. 

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”. Unless you were clearly dealing, the police must give you a court date and HAVE TO LET YOU GO and you cannot be held in the cells.

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. You can also phone our helpline 063 174 0938.

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!

BE AWARE THAT SINCE THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGEMENT OF 18 SEPTEMBER 2018, THE POLICE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LOCK YOU UP IN A CELL UNTIL YOUR COURT APPEARANCE. INSTEAD THEY HAVE TO GIVE YOU A SUMMONS WITH A COURT DATE AND LET YOU GO. You can only be held in the cells if the police have CLEAR EVIDENCE that you were caught dealing. Dealing CANNOT be proved without an undercover operative, marked notes or photographic evidence. 

A person’s vehicle, home, bag and pockets are private spaces and cannot be searched without an original signed warrant shown beforehand.

According to case law, an officer cannot search someone’s person, house or car simply because they believe the person is “suspicious”. This simply will not hold up in court.

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 that 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. You are allowed to film the police. 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?!

You have to apply via a Police Station, details at link below

http://www.saps.gov.za/services/applying_clearence_certificate.php

Most records can only be removed with help from a lawyer, but there is a free way worth a try http://www.justice.gov.za/expungements.html

How Does This Affect My Life?

Charges will not show up in a criminal record search until you have signed and admitted guilt.  Travel or emigration plans should not be negatively affected. Our legal team or your attorney will be able to advise you in more detail.

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. 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 on 063 174 0938.

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. 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?

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

A person’s vehicle, home, bag and pockets are private spaces and cannot be searched without an original signed warrant shown beforehand.

According to case law, an officer cannot search someone’s person, house or car simply because they believe the person is “suspicious”. This simply will not hold up in court.

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? Probably not, because police theft is a separate issue from Cannabis arrest.

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.

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

Instructions to check your criminal record can be found here:
http://www.saps.gov.za/services/applying_clearence_certifiate.php

It could be costly to remove a record, but here is a free way that is worth trying http://www.justice.gov.za/expungements.html

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. In some cases it can be done for free. Here is how http://www.justice.gov.za/expungements.html

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. You cannot be arrested and/ or held in the cells for possession any longer. A person’s vehicle, home, bag and pockets are private spaces and cannot be searched without an original signed warrant shown beforehand.

Dealing CANNOT be proved without an undercover operative, marked notes or photographic evidence. Several bags or jars stored together (even near cash!) is NORMAL and still does NOT imply dealing and will NOT hold up in court.

YOU CANNOT ASSUME DEALING JUST BY HOW MUCH DAGGA SOMEONE POSSESSES

Quantity DOES NOT MATTER and is a useless measuring stick. BE AWARE that the law that says more than 115g of Cannabis constitutes dealing has been deemed UNCONSTITUTIONAL in S v Bhulwana; S v Gwadiso 1996 (1) SA 388 (CC).

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! A person’s vehicle, home, bag and pockets are private spaces and cannot be searched without an original signed warrant shown beforehand.

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. Contribute by joining the The Green Network as part of Fields of Green for ALL, our non-profit company; or make a once-off payment using the methods below. Put a coin in a Dagga Couple tin, smoke a little less primo this month & a little more shwag… donate the difference to do your bit. You owe it to the plant if you’re a user…

Read more: https://daggacouple.co.za/how-you-help-cannabis-activism/

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.