What To Do If Arrested or Deported

When Arrested:

  • Remain silent and say that you will only answer questions if your attorney (Lawyer) is present.  The only information you are obliged to give is your Name and address, and present your identification.
  • If you do not know a lawyer, then ask to see your family and ask them to get you a lawyer.
  • If you cannot afford a lawyer, ask your family to apply for Legal Aid for you.
  • A policeman can only search men NOT women. Women can only be searched by policewomen or any other woman that the police ask to do the searching.
  • If you do not have your documents, you will be arrested, but the police will confirm your identity and documentation status with the Department of Home Affairs. **If your documents are in order, be sure to make copies and always carry your documents with you at ALL times.
When arrested for Deportation:
If you have been arrested for deportation (documentation issue), be sure to have your family or lawyer contact PASSOP right away!
  • If you are told that you are getting Deported, you should know that you have to receive written information by the police officer and that you can challenge that decision in court. Ask for Form 29 ‘ Notification for Deportation’ which includes a section where you can ask for appeal.
  • If the court establishes your deportation as final, before you are deported, you have the right to collect payments of work done and other valuables.

*Arrest of undocumented persons should not take place on or near Hospitals, schools and clinics. They should also not arrest you for reporting a crime committed against you to the police.

Bail and Detention

  • If you are released on police bail, ask for your bail receipt and find out when you are due in court. Never be late for, or miss, a court hearing. If you do not arrive in time, a warrant for your arrest may be issued. You may lose your bail money if you do not go to court on the day of the court hearing.
  • Do not talk about your case to anyone except your lawyer.  Ask for your lawyer to be present if you are questioned or told to attend an identity parade.
  • In detention you have the right to be treated with dignity and humanity. Therefore, you should not be tortured or treated in a cruel, inhumane or degrading way.
  • In detention you have the right to food, health care, to practise your religion and to be kept away from other criminals.  You also have the right to family and religious visitations.
  • You have the right to a phone in order to talk to your lawyer or interpreter.
  • When detaining a Child she or he must be kept separately from detained persons over 18 years and treated in a manner, and kept in conditions that take account of the child’s age.
  • When detaining a Family, the children must not be separated from the parents.

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