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To tell you never to accept a caution?

(415 Posts)
brasty Sun 19-Nov-17 13:42:19

Or at least not without legal advice.

The police often offer cautions in cases where they know there is not enough evidence to secure a conviction. So if you refuse a caution in these cases, the case will simply be dropped. The caution is offered so that the police can officially say the crime has been cleared and dealt with. But many people accept cautions when they are innocent, because of fear of going to court.

Pickleypickles Sun 19-Nov-17 13:53:10

Or just obey the law and the police tend not to bother you confused

brasty Sun 19-Nov-17 13:53:57

Did you miss where I said innocent people accept cautions because they are afraid to go to court?

AnnaleeP Sun 19-Nov-17 13:55:10

Yes. It's pretty standard advice tbh. It's an admission of guilt without going to court, an easy win for the police.

If you refuse to accept it they either have to drop the charge or take you to court.

Chances are they'll drop it as if it was an open and shut case they would want to charge you. Instead they try their luck.

ToadsforJustice Sun 19-Nov-17 13:58:05

That’s right. Never accept a caution if you are innocent, as it will be shown as a conviction on PNC and will appear on DBS checks. A caution is a conviction without going to court.

brasty Sun 19-Nov-17 14:01:04

I know people who have accepted one and were innocent. And even if you are guilty, consider carefully before accepting one.

19lottie82 Sun 19-Nov-17 14:01:53

pickles haha...... how naive you are!

scurryfunge Sun 19-Nov-17 14:02:53

A caution has to meet the same criteria for charging.

brasty Sun 19-Nov-17 14:04:13

Pickles is probably a nice middle class woman who would be unlikely to have come across police offering a caution to an innocent person who says they are innocent. We all speak from our own experience after all. And I know it is working class parents generally who advise their teenagers to accept a caution, while middle class parents will rightly call a lawyer.

brasty Sun 19-Nov-17 14:04:59

scurry That may be the law, it is not what happens in practice.

scurryfunge Sun 19-Nov-17 14:06:52

Examples?

brasty Sun 19-Nov-17 14:10:15

Complaints from a neighbour about harassment that are made up. Neighbour made up harassment claims as the neighbours are a gay couple. Policeman visits gay couple and offers a caution. Which thankfully they said no to.

Woman is caught carrying drugs in her bag that she did not know were there. Suspected her boyfriend of spotting the cops and slipping them in. Told the police she was innocent, but accepted caution. I know this one sounds suspect, but I believed her. She left the boyfriend as a result of this.

brasty Sun 19-Nov-17 14:11:12

I have heard other people who have accepted cautions where although they were guilty, there was no evidence at all.

Gwenhwyfar Sun 19-Nov-17 14:12:12

Analee - nobody has ever given me this advice before. Thanks OP.
I did hear a couple of years ago that you'd have a criminal record if you had a caution, not something I knew before and I wonder if the police tell people that.
Can we have some more advice on what to do in these situations? At what point are you entitled to a lawyer?

NC4now Sun 19-Nov-17 14:15:00

I know people whose teenage cautions have held them back in their careers.

scurryfunge Sun 19-Nov-17 14:17:51

How do you know any of the anecdotes are based on fact though? Is this what people have told you?

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Sun 19-Nov-17 14:19:59

Thanks OP. I didn’t know this. TBH I hadn’t actually given it any thought as I’ve not been in that situation so far. Good to know.

brasty Sun 19-Nov-17 14:20:57

Of course that is what people have told me. But people I know well and trust. Why are you so certain that cautions are not offered when evidence is slim?

scurryfunge Sun 19-Nov-17 14:22:42

Because there are various gatekeepers to get past before a caution is offered. Officers don't just make the decision themselves.

diddl Sun 19-Nov-17 14:23:26

So you obviously mean don't accept a caution if you are innocent?

Mamabear3017 Sun 19-Nov-17 14:23:35

My ex boyfriend was punched in the face by a police officer, in self defence he hit the police officer back (admittedly breaking his nose).

They offered him a caution even after viewing the cctv and seeing that the PO did indeed hit him first. My ex accepted the caution as they made out they were doing him a favour.

Just in case anyone wants to know the full story, a friend of his beat up and innocent guy, ex intervened which nearly ended up in a fight with friend and ex. Police showed up and assumed my ex was a suspect in the assault and hit him.

I witnessed everything, everyone in close proximity was arrested, I was stood too close and the PO came up to me and asked if I wanted a punch too.

brasty Sun 19-Nov-17 14:24:59

diddl Even if guilty I would ask to speak to a lawyer first.

diddl Sun 19-Nov-17 14:25:30

"Woman is caught carrying drugs in her bag that she did not know were there. Suspected her boyfriend of spotting the cops and slipping them in. Told the police she was innocent, but accepted caution. I know this one sounds suspect, but I believed her. She left the boyfriend as a result of this."

Glad that she moved on.

She had drugs in her bag, not sure how she could have got out of that?

Didiusfalco Sun 19-Nov-17 14:26:03

Thanks OP, that’s not something I knew.

TheFirstMrsDV Sun 19-Nov-17 14:26:19

Never accept a caution if you haven't done what you area accused of.
Its an admission of guilt.
pickle's response made me laugh.

Police are dealing with low level nuisance and he says/he says/she says/she says etc crime all the time.
If they have a case of a fight where one party was minding their own business when the other party decided to thump them the police don't have time to work out who did what. They are likely to offer a caution in a case like that.
If they reckon both parties are evenly matched , of a 'type' and no one is seriously hurt.

So fingers crossed no one decides to embroil Pickles in a fight and then tell the police it was all her fault

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