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The Police Caution

AN EXPLANATION TO THE ALTERNATIVE OF BEING CHARGED AND APPEARING AT THE MAGISTRATES COURT

CAUTIONS

It is possible that the Police may decide to deal with a criminal matter before them in an alternative way, other than the person being charged and being required to attend the Magistrates Court. Such options are commonly referred to as out of Court disposals, and are not an option until the complete criminal investigation has been completed.

Simple Caution

This is a formal notice from a police officer that a person has committed an offence, and is generally offered to a person who has committed a minor offence, and providing the person is of good character, and not had occasion to be in trouble with the police on previous occasion. The person on being offered the caution, has to admit the offence and agree with the caution being given by the police officer.

Conditional Caution

Very similar to the description above as to a simple caution, but with this caution there are conditions that must be abided by, which depend entirely on the offence and the circumstances, and must be approved by a Crown Prosecution Lawyer. Again, the person must agree to the caution being given by the Police and importantly, also to the conditions of the caution. If the conditions are not kept by the person, an arrest would follow, with a Court appearance for the original offence.

WARNING:

Understand the caution before it is accepted.

Cautions are not Convictions

Cautions may indeed be kept on the Police National Computer as part of a criminal record, and be advised to the Court in the event of a charge at Court in the future.

Cautions may be used as evidence of bad character at Court in any trial, and by the Crown Prosecution service in the event of that person making an application for Bail, or ASBO, or indeed any other proceedings in a criminal trial.

Cautions may prevent travel to certain countries outside the EEC, or indeed the ability to work in those countries.

A person may need to disclose a Caution to an Employer, or for positions with the Armed Forces or Police. This could result in a position not being offered.

The Police are at liberty to inform an employer in certain circumstances.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONSULT PENMAN SEDGWICK FOR ADVICE PRIOR TO ACCEPTING A POLICE CAUTION

Criminal Defence

Practice Area - Criminal

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