With some offences, under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, police officers can issue cautions to those who admit the offence – and the individual will only be prosecuted if they refuse to accept the caution.
A caution is not a conviction and is spent as soon as it is issued, unless a conditional caution is issued and then it can be spent in as little as three months.
However, although a caution does not have to be declared for the purposes of employment generally, it is necessary to declare it for certain jobs where an enhanced check is needed.
If the individual goes on to be prosecuted for a further offence, a caution might be taken into account by the court when sentencing.
If the police issue a caution, procedures must be followed and issuing the caution must be deemed “reasonable”, under guidelines known as Wednesbury’s principles of reasonableness – and the caution must be appropriate to the offence within the guidelines for issuing cautions.
In cases where a caution or conditional caution has been issued unlawfully, a caution may be quashed.
In some cases, it might be decided by a court that the case should be reviewed and, as a result, an individual might be prosecuted – so it is essential to seek legal advice from Duncan Lewis Action Against Public Authorities Solicitors immediately.
If a caution is quashed because it should not have been issued at all, it is possible to make a complaint to the police force in question – and also to claim compensation.
Duncan Lewis Action Against Public Authorities Solicitors can advise on making a complaint to the police relating to unlawful police cautions, as well as advising on making a claim for police compensation.
There is a 12-month time limit for making police complaints, so it is important to contact Duncan Lewis as soon as possible.
Duncan Lewis may be able to secure legal aid, or to offer a no win no fee arrangement for advising on police complaints and claims – with competitively priced rates for privately funding a claim or After the Event (ATE) insurance, if either legal aid is unavailable or where a no win no fee basis is not possible.
For expert legal advice on Actions Against the Police and Unlawful Police Cautions, call Duncan Lewis Action Against Public Authorities Solicitors in confidence on 0333 772 0409.