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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71131
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a query regarding a caution which I have been offered

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Hi, I have a query regarding a caution which I have been offered due to a fight with another person who has also been offered a caution. I am due to accept this caution on Wednesday but I am worried it will affect my employment prospects, I have no previous criminal history and I am currently a final year university student. I have been offered a conditional contract (conditional on grades and on meeting certain checks and references) by a big firm for a graduate scheme starting September and I am really worried that accepting this caution will greatly impact my career or deny me a chance in the graduate job market.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi thank you Jo, I would like to know how a caution would affect me, my options (e.g. how realistic would obtaining a "restorative justice" instead of caution be). I imagine for this you would need more details regarding the specific incident, evidence and nature of the incident? Does this service include phone call as perhaps it would be easier for me to give you these details over the phone

How bad was the injury please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Below is a more detailed description of what happened:

There was a group of me and my friends and another group of people that we did not know. We all admitted that we had been drinking as we had recently left a bar. There was an argument which l became involved in. Recorded in CCTV it can be seen that as we were all gathered round in a circle arguing one person ran at me with his leg in the air attempting to kick me, this was the first clear act of aggression and I in turn caught his leg to avoid the kick and as we both fell to the floor it can be seen everyone is struggling and pushing (I was also hit but how this happened cannot be seen on the CCTV) what can be seen on the CCTV is that once we both fell to the floor I hit the person (several times) who had tried to kick me in the head. The fight was quickly dispersed by our friends and a few minutes after, when the fight had already stopped police came as they had been called by neighbours.

When police asked what happened, the person who had attempted to kick me pointed at me and accused me of assault. I was taken to the police station and spent the night in a cell whereas everyone else was allowed to go home after giving their contact details. I was interviewed and released on bail in the morning and since then when I was called for a further interview, was shown the recording. The investigator told me that the charge for assault had been dropped as it could not stand following the CCTV video showing us both behaving incorrectly as opposed to me assaulting him. However I was then told that they were deciding whether or not to take this to court for affray, they were unsure if there was sufficient evidence and as I repeatedly showed remorse and have never been in any trouble with the police they have recently called me to offer me a caution. This has been described by them as a “slap on the wrist” and I was advised by the police investigator to accept and told that it is much better than going court. I have been told that the person who initially accused me of assault has also been offered this caution and we are both due to accept this on Wednesday.

Regarding my injuries I have pictures of a bruise under one eye, along with scratches and bruises in an elbow arm and shoulder.

The other person I do not know how serious his injuries are but I imagine very little as he then walked home after police where done asking him questions (he wasn’t taken to the cell only me).

That is all I need to know.
There is very little realistic prospect of restorative justice. This is public violence whilst in drink. Also, the victim is really in a proper position to accept restorative justice since he was arrested as well.
If you refuse a caution then they may take no further action.
The risk that they would charge you with some form of public order offence that can be proven from the CCTV rather than an assault which cannot unless the victim gives evidence.
Cautions are damaging. They are not a commendation. They are a lot better than a conviction which can be the other alternative.
It is a high risk decision to refuse one. It might pay off. It might not.
If you are charged with public order you might have a defence on the basis that you were defending yourself but obviously I haven't seen the CCTV and you need to bear that in mind.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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