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Simple Caution: Should I Accept a Simple Caution?

simple cautionThis post gives general advice about what a Simple Caution is and whether you should accept one if offered one.  If you need specific advice about an ongoing case involving a simple caution, call our expert team now on 0800 1933 999 for bespoke advice.


What is a ‘Simple Caution’?


Previously known as a formal or police caution, it is a formal warning which may be given by the police to a person of 18 years of age who admits to committing an offence.


This disposal is aimed at dealing with low-level, mostly first-time offenders without the need for prosecutions, in circumstances whereby certain criteria are met.


NB: A conditional caution is not the same thing as a simple caution – conditions are attached to the former. Conditional cautions were introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003.


A simple caution should only be offered to a person who admits the offence (“offender”), and who agrees to accept the simple caution. Offenders can refuse to accept a simple caution even if they have admitted guilt to an offence and their refusal may result in a prosecution.


A simple caution should only be offered where the decision maker is confident that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction if the offender were to be prosecuted.


A simple caution should not be offered if the decision maker decides it would be in the public interest for the offender to be prosecuted.


The caution forms part of an offender’s criminal record and may be referred to in future legal proceedings, or be disclosed in certain criminal records checks. Offenders should be warned about this before they accept a simple caution.


There is no formal right of appeal against this once it has been accepted by an offender, but it can be challenged by way of a complaint against the issuing police force, or in court by way of a judicial review.


Should I accept a simple caution?


Before you decide whether or not to accept the offer, you need to consider the following issues:-


–      Do you admit the offence? (If you do not, then you should not accept, as to accept it is an admission of your guilt.)


–      The simple caution, once accepted, forms part of your criminal record. A record will be retained by the police and it may be referred to in future legal proceedings.


–      Some criminal records checks may reveal this in future (i.e. to present or potential employers, in some occupations).


–      If you accept this disposal in relation to an offence in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 will result in the offender becoming a “relevant offender” for the purposes of the notification and registration requirements of Part 2 of that Act. This means that the offender will be put on the “sex offenders register” for two years from the date of the simple caution.


–      It may be taken into account by the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) for those working, or intending to work, with children and vulnerable adults.


–      If further evidence comes to light after it has been accepted, a prosecution could still be brought against an offender, or a civil action, or a private prosecution.


–      Entry to other countries could be denied as some countries’ immigration policies may treat this in the same way as a conviction.


If you have concerns about the offer or acceptance of a simple caution, contact our office today for initial, free advice on 01623 397200.


Best Criminal Defence Solicitors?

How do you define the best criminal defence solicitors?


Many people claim to be the best criminal defence solicitors, some are acknowledged by others to be the best.


What does it take to be the best criminal defence solicitors?


A knowledge of the law is obviously important but this is not what separates the good from the best. Some criminal defence solicitors are very poor in terms of basic knowledge but to be fair that is unusual. Most know the law and the truth is most cases are relatively straight forward in terms of the law. It is very rare to get a complex case.


If it’s not the law that separates the best criminal defence solicitors then what is? We are in the privileged position of being told that we are the best by a lot of clients, courts and top barristers we work with. It is not unusual for us to get feedback from barristers to say that we are the best they have ever worked with.


Rather than us tell you why we are the best criminal defence solicitors we asked others why they thought we were. Some common threads came up.


best criminal defence solicitors











Hard Work. As a team we give every case our all. We never switch off and all of the team work long hours and at home. We have a team chat function that buzzes constantly. We make sure that no case ever leaves this office without it being fully prepared. We always know we have done everything we can on a file.


Tough fighters. A lot of feedback relates to how hard we fight, how we are not scared to upset the prosecution or the police if we need to get a result. Now it may appear that way but that is not the full story. We only do that when we have to. Most time we work with organisations such as the police and prosecution. We get on well with them and the courts we appear in. There is no sense in upsetting everyone just for the sake of it. But mess with one of our clients and you will see a different side of us. We do what we have to.


Devastating cross examination. If a witness is lying our Steve Williams will expose them in court. Described as ‘surgeon like’ he will gently lead the witness into a carefully crafted trap, exposing the lie. Delivering the ultimate killer blow with his well known question “which of the 2 versions of your story is a lie? Did you lie to the police or are you lying now? We know you are lying, which just aren’t sure yet which is the lie….. maybe they are both lies?”


All of these are valid but we think that the most important aspect is our legendary, award winning client care. This underpins everything we do. We only work so hard because we genuinely care. It is nice to win awards, it is good to hear other professionals tell us how good we are and yes it give us a boost when a client moves to us and his old solicitors say ‘I don’t blame you, they are the best’. But the thing that means the most to us is when clients get a good result and when they are happy. Everything we do is for the clients. We are not a Legal Aid firm. We pick and choose which clients we work with and that means if we take your case on its because we believe in it. We will take it personally. You are taught at law school not to get too close to the clients, not to take it personally. We do things differently. To us it is personal. We will be at your side through every step of the way. We will care about your case as much as you do. We know it’s not just about getting good results it’s also about the journey to that result and we will make sure it is as good as possible. We know it is stressful, we know it will never be easy but we will be in this together.


If you want to find out what makes us different, why we win so many awards and why so many say we are the best criminal defence solicitors call us now.



Call anytime on 01623 397200.


Revenge Porn Lawyers – What is Revenge Porn?

revenge porn lawyersRevenge Porn Lawyers are frequently asked, what exactly is revenge porn?  In this post, we explain the basics.  If you need revenge porn lawyers for an ongoing case, call our expert team now on 01623 397200.


What is ‘Revenge Porn’?


In April 2015, the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 created a new criminal offence of Revenge Pornography, which made it an offence to disclose private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.


Prior to this, revenge porn offences had to be dealt with via existing copyright and harassment legislation, for example the Communications Act 2003, Malicious Communications Act 1988 or the Harassment Act 1997.


What is the extent of this offence?


In the 18 months following the implementation of the legislation, 206 prosecutions have been brought.


However, it is widely accepted that shame and humiliation deters victims from reporting the crime.


On the other hand, the accelerating use of social media creates more opportunities for perpetrators – i.e. through the use of revenge porn websites, as well as Facebook accounts and other platforms.


As the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, recently commented: ‘There is a growing trend of crimes committed on or through social media’.


The message to would-be perpetrators is that revenge porn offences are being taken very seriously, are now viewed by the criminal justice system as distinct from other offences and that those involved with law enforcement and prosecutions are becoming increasingly skilled in understanding the nature of the offence and bringing perpetrators to justice.


How could a perpetrator be punished for this offence?


If found guilty of a revenge porn offence, a perpetrator could be given a maximum 2 year custodial sentence and ordered to pay a fine and court costs.  Our team of revenge porn lawyers are experts in this field and can help you if you are being investigated for revenge porn offences.


What sentences have perpetrators received since the new legislation took effect?


21 year old Jason Asagba, one of the first people to be convicted under the new legislation, was given a six month custodial sentence (suspended for 18 months) and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work within the community. Asagba was also given a restraining order and ordered to pay £345 in costs.


Asagba was convicted of posting, texting and emailing intimate photos without the woman’s consent with intent to cause her distress, after pleading guilty to Revenge Pornography.


His victim had been asleep when he had taken photos of her; no consent was given. Asagba sent the photos to the victim’s family via text and also sent the victim a photo via email.  In addition, Asagba hacked into the victim’s Facebook account and shared an image on her timeline.


In line with the legal definition of the offence of Revenge Pornography, Asagba had disclosed private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress. It was clear from the actions detailed above that Asagba had intended to cause the woman distress and embarrassment.  Sharing such photos in a public forum was vindictive and criminal.


Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance on Revenge Porn:


  • Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress. The images are sometimes accompanied by personal information about the subject, including their full name, address and links to their social media profiles.
  • The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.
  • The issue in cases of ‘revenge pornography’ will be whether the message or communication is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false, not whether the image itself is indecent or obscene.
  • Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 deals with the sending of electronic communications which are indecent, grossly offensive, threatening or false, provided there is an intention to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient.
  • Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send or cause to be sent through a ‘public electronic communications network’ a message that is ‘grossly offensive’ or of an ‘indecent, obscene or menacing character’.
  • Where there is more than one incident, or the incident forms part of a course of conduct directed towards an individual, a charge of harassment should be considered.
  • Where the images may have been taken when the victim was under 18, prosecutors will consider offences under the Protection of Children Act 1978.
  • In the most serious cases, where intimate images are used to coerce victims into further sexual activity, other offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 will be considered.

If you have been charged with Revenge Pornography, and need revenge porn lawyers, contact our office on 01623 397200 for free initial advice.