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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70181
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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How long do you have to challenge a light caution

Customer Question

How long do you have to challenge a light caution for harassment you feel was unfair?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
What do you mean by a light caution?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, a simple caution.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
That you accepted after making admissions during police interview?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, but I feel that the process was wrong from the very bigging and was in shock and taken off guard. I was visited by a police officer and told my ex partner had made a claim of harassment against me. I was not shown any evidence of this (we had been talking about getting back together after a 7 years relationship only 3 weeks before, and the claim was actually about my decision to take legal action against her in those 3 weeks). I was asked to sign the officers note book to say I'd not contact her and deal with her through my solicitor, which I did. She then contacted my current partner to apologise for involving the police and would send me a letter to explain (I forwarded this info to the officer as I felt it demonstrated I was not harassing her). I made no contact, then in March she rang me (original police visit was Dec) to ask me to stop the legal proceedings that where underway. I made the assumption that if she contacted me I would no longer be bound by what I wrote in the notebook, but kept away until June, when I contacted her in the hope of coming to terms with each other (I had dropped my case against her). She found out at this time I was moving to Ireland to be with my current partner, and so send the emails I'd sent to the police. I was arrested, finger printed etc and interviewed for over an hour, and I had no legal council as I assumed I had done nothing wrong (I was given no formal instructions on what I could and could not do etc at the first meeting). I was then given a simple caution, which I admitted too as this process had knocked my confidence in how the system was going to treat the matter. But now ten months on I feel that what happened was unfair, and that that original signature in an officer's note book with out seeing any evidence should not have been an admittance of guilt.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
In that case, you cannot dispute it. There is no method of appeal from a caution. It is like a guilty plea at court. The only legal challenge is one of judicial review of the decision to offer a caution which would be expensive and pointless here as there are no grounds. Judicial review is a high test and it is just not met here. Also, even if you succeeded it would only lead to them charging you and using your evidence in interview to secure a conviction. I'm very sorry but cautions are binding. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess this case shows up the flaw in the giving of warnings rather than trying to find enough evidence to charge someone. Thanks for your advice.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I agree.It is very easy to accept cautions at the police station to get out early but there are massive disadvantages in them.