I’ve been subpoenaed – what now?

Subpoena

Understanding the subpoena process in South African law Have you been summonsed to appear in court (subpoenaed) and give evidence in a trial? If so, you may be frightened, or at least a bit anxious. As lawyers, we attend court all the time. It’s a familiar environment for us. But we know that for the […]

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White collar crime is not victimless

White collar crime

White collar crime can do as much damage to society as violent crime Commercial crime, also called “white collar crime”, is often called a victimless crime, because it is not perpetrated against an individual. But it is anything but victimless. And with more and more of our lives conducted online, along with the growth in […]

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Robbery vs. burglary – what’s the difference?

Robbery and burglary

Robbery and burglary are used interchangeably but they have different meanings in law Have you ever had a break-in or home invasion? If so, you’re one of more than 1.1 million households that experienced housebreaking incidents in the 2022/23 period, according to Stats SA. But did you experience a robbery or a burglary? These terms […]

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Driving under the influence

Driving under the influence

What is a fair sentence? A driving under the influence (DUI) case was recently appealed in the Western Cape High Court, not because the appellant wished to challenge the conviction, but because he felt the sentence was inappropriately severe. It is an interesting case from a legal perspective, because it deals with the nature and […]

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Crime stats – what do they mean?

A look at the key messages emerging from this year’s crime statistics Crime stats for South Africa were published last week by SAPS. Overall, reported crime decreased slightly, but violent crime, also referred to as contact crime, including murder, continued its upward trend. The statistics cover the period 1 April to 31 March, 2020, and […]

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#GeorgeFloyd: Police Brutality and Public Violence

By Simon David Dippenaar The death of a handcuffed suspect due to a restraint technique employed by a police official in the United States, and subsequent rioting, death and destruction of property, call these crimes into question. Without wading in on the race and political issues, this post simply considers the legality thereof, under the […]

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Harsh Sentence for a Minor Crime

We came across an interesting case recently where the punishment most definitely did not fit the crime. A petty criminal received an unduly harsh sentence. Furthermore, there were minor children involved who might have been left without their caregiver if the sentence had been carried out. An accused appeared before a magistrates court for the […]

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Criminal record? Wipe it clean

Make a fresh start If you have a criminal record, no matter how minor the offence, your chances of getting a job are slim. But there is good news. If it’s been 10 years or more since the conviction, you can apply to have your criminal record wiped clean. This is known as “expungement”. What […]

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