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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70005
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi I was arrested and bailed for six weeks while the police

Customer Question

Hi I was arrested and bailed for six weeks while the police investigate allegations of me causing criminal damage. The thing is I can remember nothing of the incident as I think my drink had bee spiked. The police have one witness who said I hit his van with my belt buckle.

I really don't want this to go to court so is it a good idea to say I might have done it (although I really can't recall anything) say I'm reall sorry, offer to pay for any damage and maybe get a caution?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Do you have any previous convictions please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi no previous convictions
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No I have no previous convictions
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Have you already told them you can't remember?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I was interviewed and said I couldn't remember anything for around 3 hours during which the alleged damage took place. The first thing I remember is being in the back of a police van.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

The reason they didn't caution you is that you need to admit the offence to get a caution. Saying that you cannot remember an event is neither admitting or denying it.

Its a difficult situation really. I suppose it would be possible to get a solicitor to try to negotiate with the police a caution on the basis that you cannot remember but accept the weight of the evidence. If you don't remember then you cannot say that you do.

The difficulty here will be that this really should have been done at the police station originally and they may be reluctant to caution now. Difficult to say. Some officers would be delighted at the chance as it will save them having to do more work. Obviously though it depends how much work has been done already.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70005
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I should ask a solicitor for advice?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, if you haven't done so already.

The trouble is that this should have been done at the police station originally when you were offered one so its a case of hoping that somebody can patch things up.

Sometimes they will offer a belated caution.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The problem was I needed to be released from custody quickly because my son had been admitted to hospital and I didn't want to wait for the duty solicitor. This only happened on Monday btw so they've probably not done very much work on it. I also think they have an id issue as they asked me to record and ID video.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Oh yes, they will have to prove ID but that doesn't mean they will not be able to do it.

Never agree to be interviewed without a solicitor. It gets you out of custody faster perhaps but gets you sent to prison quicker.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you really think I might go to jail for damaging a car with a belt? It seems very harsh. I have no convictions and this is completely out of character. I am now really worried .
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, but thats not the point. You never know what risks you facing at the police station.

I once had a client who was picked up for common assault and interviewed without a solicitor and therefore admitted the offence. Sadly the victim died, he was charged with murder and is on a life sentence.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Good point - they seemed very friendly and understood that I needed to get out quickly. They even got an inspector to check I didn't want a solicitor. Maybe I was lulled into a false sense of security. Anyway thanks for your help, I'm ringing a solicitor first thing!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
They don't encourage people not to have solicitors now. Its not really in their interests to do that for lots of reasons.

All the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jo, just a quick follow up question. The police are apparently willing to offer me a conditional caution if I pay £1800 for the alleged damage. Seems steep but I'll obviously pay it to avoid a charge. The question is: will I be given time to pay or will I have to find the money straightaway?

Thanks!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Usually to get a conditional caution you have to comply with the condition fully before the caution is administered.

They might give you a period of time to raise the cash though.

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