What are the Possible Outcomes following on from a Caution Plus 3 – Voluntary Police Interview?

The officer in the case will consult with their police sergeant in the first instance with a view of them making a decision.

The sergeant can decide to deal with the case internally but can also refer the matter to the crown prosecution service for a decision.

The sergeant will have to be satisfied that the case meets the ‘threshold test’, which is the evidential standard that a case must meet before being referred to the cps for a charging decision.

If the police/cps believe that there is ‘sufficient’ evidence to prosecute then a suspect will receive a summons in the post to attend court on a specified date and time.

If it is deemed that there is ‘insufficient’ evidence to prosecute a suspect then ‘no further action’ will be taken.

Please be aware that if any ‘new evidence’ comes to light then a case can be re opened although this is very rare and dependent on the level of offence in question as summary only offences have a prosecution time limit.

The police/cps may also give consideration as to whether a suspect is suitable to be dealt with out of court. This will usually be based on admissions and remorse shown in interview: –

A suspect can be considered for a community resolution. This is a way of a suspect being dealt with for less serious offences and can be as little as a letter of apology. This does not form part of a criminal record and will therefore not appear on a standard disclosure barring service (DBS) check. It however maybe disclosable in enhanced checks in the ‘relevant information’ section dependent on the work placement you are in or applying for. The community resolution is recorded locally on police information systems and can be accessed for intelligence purposes. It can also be considered in light of new similar offences.

A ‘simple caution’ will form part of a criminal record and will come up on a standard DBS check. The enhanced check will include this as well as any further information held by police and seen to be relevant with consideration to the work placement role.

Further to the above ‘conditional cautions’ are more commonly being used to provide an element of rehabilitation for the suspect. For example this can be for a suspect to attend a drivers awareness course further to making admissions in interview for a driving related offence.

If a suspect fails to complete such course within a specified stated timeframe they could end up finding themselves receiving a summons to attend court as the only then alternative in light of the admissions made in interview.

Cautions will be defined as spent immediately but conditional cautions become spent after three months.

You must get legal advice regarding cautions. It may seem an easy way to conclude with the matter but accepting a caution could have serious effects on your present or future employment or business prospects.

For example accepting a caution may prevent you getting a job in the care profession.

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