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Jamie-Law
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I have some questions about the SRA character and

Resolved Question:

Hello I have some questions about the SRA character and suitability test for potential solicitors. I need advise on whether
A) A police caution I received 5 years ago would affect my chances even if it has lapsed.
and
B) What the process involves
Thank you
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

What was the caution for please?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The caution was back in July 2011. It was a simple restricted caution for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.The backstory is I was involved in a fight in which i tried to defend myself and both parties were cut and bruised up afterwards. I was given poor advise and admitted my part in it and given the caution.First of all could you please advise (for both types of caution) is they will still appear on any search or enhanced search. Do they fade after 5 years? I have done CRB checks for work since and never had many problems.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

It wont show on a DBS check. A caution only shows for 12 months and assuming you have no other convictions come off under the filtering process.

Therefore it wont show and the SRA wont find out.

You could declare it to the SRA and then it gets investigated, they want your life story, it goes to a committee etc.

But if you didnt declare it, in reality they wont find out.

Whilst I can't tell you to lie, the reality is it will not show on the DBS check and unless you tell them, they will not find out.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. I have a couple more things about this.While in the cell back in 2011 I spoke to a lawyer about what a caution would mean and also what being charged would mean. His advise wasn't exactly clear but at the time I asked him the following.A) Would a caution of this kind effect travelling to other countries, specifically the USA?
Since 5 years ago I have been to Egypt, UAE, Cape Verde, France, Italy, Ukraine, Poland, Rep Ireland with absolutely no issues. However I realise that some countries are very strict, specifically the USA. Would my caution 5 years ago cause me ANY issues at all if I try to go to the USA for any reason in the future?B) I also asked him about law and the SRA back then! Training to be a solicitor was an option that never happened then due to years of ill health but is something I am now looking into again. His words were that 'none of the top firms will go anywhere near you if you have a caution.' Is this accurate? Perhaps he meant 'if you have a charge' instead as it was the middle of the night and (between you and me) he wasn't being very clear at all.I have done CRB checks for work within the last 5 years. Once (i believe after an enhanced check for working with children) I had to write a cover letter describing the incident and was fully cleared without any problems.
For me it seems very harsh if I have been cleared as a perfectly sound person but get penalised by any future legal employer or for travelling to the USA because of a stupid incident I got caught up in. But I dont make the rules!A detailed response on this would really help me out - I don't want to make life decisions about what direction to take and find out doors are already closed for me down the line.Thank you
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

A) No, USA doesnt have UK data on indivuals for convictions or cautions.

B) I can't say thats down to recruitment

In terms detailed response it appears you asked and paid for a low detail non urgent answer.

I can provide a detailed response but sadly that would need to be reflected in the price of the question, as it would not be cost effective for me to spend lots of time of it

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sorry, I am a member who has paid for unlimited questions so it'll just be a case of me asking infinity questions until i get a decent answer anyway.I suppose in terms of B) i'm really looking for a general answer on the SRA. You've already said they wont find any caution and that it's up to me whether to tell them about it. My question is about whether this character assessment process is mandatory for all solicitors. Do you still have to be approved by the SRA even if you plan to be a one man band rather than join a large firm? I imagine the answer is yes to anyone who wants to practice law in the UK?Without too much detail. Is it possible for someone with a totally clean record to fail the character assessment anyway and for someone with previous charges or even jail time to pass it with flying colours?Many thanks
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

It is always possible but in reality someone who has been to jail is unlikely to get passed by the SRA.

The more serious the conviction particular in relation to honesty or money is likely to be more difficult.

But the SRA wont know about your caution anyway. It wont show

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
it does but please clarify the part about SRA character assessment being necessary for all lawyers. If I want to attempt to be a one man band rather than join a firm do I still need SRA approval and the character assessment? Is it a standard requirement for anyone who wants to practice law in the UK?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Yes you will

Does that clarify?

Jamie-Law and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sure does!
Thank you for all your help
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

All the best.

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