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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son has been arrested because he was practising kung fu

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My son has been arrested because he was practising kung fu with a metal sword in public but the sword is not a weapon and is not sharp but it looks threatening.he is now in the cell. He has never been in trouble and certainly has never had any convictions and our family has never had any dealings with the police. My son has special needs is on the autistic spectrum.I need to know if he is likely to be charged, or if you will be let off with a caution. Will that caution constitute a criminal record will affect his employment and travel? Please let me know as we are all very anxious about him. Thank you John Abulafia

There is no prospect of a caution I'm afraid.

This is an offensive weapon and a sword is an offensive weapon per se.

A caution is incredibly unlikely and just not on the spectrum. It would be like receiving a caution for an offence like rape which does happen but only in the rarest of circumstances.

A charge is inevitable unless, of course, he has a positive defence.

If he is convicted either upon plea or upon verdict then he will have a criminal record and it will affect travel and may affect employment. In fairness, offensive weapon does have an impact but only upon certain occupations.

At court the disposal depends on the circumstances and his age.

I personally wouldn't mitigate on the basis of autism. I'm not sure Magistrates really believe in it at all and also there is an argument that a person with difficulties is more dangerous with a weapon than a person who does not have those problems. Some people disagree with me but that has certainly been my experience.

If you give me more information about this came about I might be able to tell you more.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I see what you mean but police themselves told us that a charge was unlikely and he would get a caution. They base this on realising he is autistic even before we told them, plus He has behaved very well after being arrested. Really want to know if the caution will constitute a criminal record. Can you tell me that? thanks John

Well, that is a very good deal. I would take it.

A caution isn't a criminal conviction but it is a record.

Yes, it will affect travel and may affect employment depending on what he wants to do. It doesn't change much from a conviction except that you don't have the punishment to contend with.

Not sure if that uploaded?

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