Formal cautions

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A caution is a formal warning. It is more serious than a warning.

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When can I get a caution?

In deciding whether to give you a formal caution or to charge you with an offence, the police officer will consider any relevant matters which will probably include:

  • the interests of the community and any victims; and
  • your age and maturity.

How are cautions given?

Police have the freedom to decide when to give formal cautions. This means they can choose to give you an immediate caution or perhaps in an interview with your parents or guardian at a later time.

How do cautions affect my criminal record?

If a formal caution is given to you, the police officer must record it. This should not become part of your criminal history. But it may become part of your police record.

If you are under 25 and have a question about cautions, please contact us here.

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