Appeal Police Caution

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Tickler | 17:32 Wed 28th Mar 2007 | Law
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I was cautioned for a common assault in June 2005. I pushed someone in a car park. I was not arrested. During my interview I said that I pushed the person back from my car as I felt under threat and was protecting my partner from intimidating behaviour. I was 'sold' the police caution by the investigating officer saying that it would have no relevance in my day to day life and that only certain jobs would require a police check. I registered my complaint with a solicitor within 3 months of receiving the caution. Now I find that mortgage applications ask whether I have a criminal record and that travel to the USA under the Visa Waiver is not possible. Qu.1 Can you appeal against a police caution? Qu 2. What is the impact of this caution on the US visa waiver post Oct 2006?


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You can only be cautioned if you agree to accept the caution, which effectively involves an admission of guilt. It's therefore difficult to see how you could succeed in any attempt to get a caution revoked.

Although a caution will be recorded by the Criminal Records Bureau, it doesn't create or form part of a criminal record. If a question on an application form asks 'Have you got a criminal record?', you can truthfully answer 'No'.

Because a caution isn't a conviction and doesn't create a criminal record, there is no provision, in law, for it to become spent. However, it's likely that you could lawfully answer 'No' to a question such as 'Have you ever been cautioned for a criminal offence?' once 5 years have elapsed, since this is the 'rehabilitation period' which applies to most non-custodial sentences upon conviction.

There are two reasons why you shouldn't have any problems entering the USA under the Visa Waiver Program:

Firstly, the form which you complete on the plane only asks about 'convictions for crimes of moral turpitude'. You weren't convicted and the crime doesn't seem to fall into the US definition of 'moral turpitude'.

Secondly, even if you go by the rules posted on the US embassy website (which are stricter than the requirements of the form on the plane), you can still use the Visa Waiver Program. This is because those rules state that anyone who has ever been arrested or convicted of an offence must apply for a visa. You've neither been arrested nor convicted, so you can still comply with the rules.

Question Author
Do you know if a police caution appears as part of a CRB check?
Question Author
>>>Thanks for the original response!!
Yes it does appear on CRB checks but not as a conviction.

They are not disclosable, depends on what you are applying for. I do not know about USA authorities etc.

I will add though that the PNC (Police National Computer), you may have heard it on the Bill "Sierra Oscar, Can I have a PNC check, over", will have your details forever.

A PNC number therefore I am afraid to say will be with you forever. Some high security clearance jobs in this age of terrorism etc, will also carry out a PNC check.

Even missing people, whether they went missing on purpose or not have one!! When you were cautioned a form called a C55 was created whereby the officer may have asked you questions like shoe size, clubs you are member on, tattoos, mum and dad details etc.

Can you appeal? I am sorry I do not know the answer. As stated, you agreed to it and admitted guilt in doing so. Since it was post European Covention of Human Rights, you may argue your admission was as a result of oppressive techniques by the police. That could be the route in.
I�m sorry to hear of your recent troubles. As previously stated a police (simple) caution is not a conviction; HOWEVER it is documented on your criminal record and may inhibit your future in relation to travelling, insurance and applying for new jobs.
A caution stays on your record for five years, after which time it is considered spent (see the Home Office website). You will only need to declare this caution if you are asked to, if you are asked f you have a conviction you can say �no�, if you are asked if you have a criminal record you can presume they are referring to convictions and say �no�.
If you are not happy with the caution and feel you have been treated unfairly, you need to appeal. You will be able to appeal through a solicitor; the ICCP will not consider an appeal against a caution. However, they do consider complaints.
As a CRB check is a record of your criminal record, your caution will appear on your CRB.
Hi there,

I believe I was given a caution in 2004 against the police guidelines. I have never had a warning or caution before and am 30. I was in a remote carpark away from the public, in the middle of the night, and not a hot spot area either. Me and one other were the only people there.

The officer issued me a formal caution stating it was a public place. However he found me only to be in possession and not smoking as the interview states. The guidelines say "smoking" in a public place can be a reason to issue a formal caution as opposed to warning; but not merely for possession.

I want to know if there is an experienced solicitor I can contact and whether I have a case to pursue. It has seriously affected my life and the officers didn't give me the full truth about its implications. They massaged me into accepting the caution saying it was nothing to worry about and otherwise i will get criminal record in court. At the scene the policeman said he would let me go if I told them the cannabis found in my friend car was his. I don't know how the police man in this instance can sleep with a clear conscience.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,

I was 'conditionally' cautioned, which does show up as a conviction on CRB with disposal notes that explain it is a caution and also lists the amount time due before it becomes spent (usually 3 months) and cautions do show up as do warnings reprimands etc

Warnings etc are spent straight away, and cautions take a 2 - 5 years in some cases. It always depends on the crime really.

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