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Arrested For Outstanding Fines?

Question:

Do police have the right to arrest me at a roadblock if I have any unpaid speeding fines? What are my rights?

Answer:

Police officials conducting a roadblock may only legally arrest you for an unpaid speeding / traffic fine if a valid warrant of arrest has been issued against you. A warrant of arrest is normally issued if you have failed to appear in court following the issuing and service of a summons against you. In terms of Section 39 of the Criminal Procedure Act you have the right to be informed of the reason or cause of your arrest and you have the right to demand a copy of the warrant of arrest whilst at the roadblock. There is no legal provision that you have the right to receive the original warrant as has been suggested by various sources. The police will thereafter have the right to detain you in custody until you are lawfully discharged or released. Should you demand to receive a copy of the warrant and fail to receive it, but should you still be unlawfully detained or arrested by the police you will have the right to bring civil action against the police where you may seek compensation for an unlawful arrest / detention.

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