Cautions, convictions, reprimands and warnings

What are the different types of cautions?

Simple Cautions are recorded on the police database, however they are not actually classed as criminal convictions. These can be used against the individual in circumstances such as court cases or ASBO applications (anti- social behaviour order) as a bad character reference. Like other convictions, simple cautions will be kept on the police database, these will be held alongside evidence such as fingerprints or photographs.


A conditional caution is similar to a simple caution in that it is not a criminal conviction, but can be used at a later date as a bad character reference, or in court when the person is on trial for another offence. The way in which the simple and conditional cautions differ it that the conditional caution comes with conditions that must be complied with in order to just receive a caution, not prosecution. If however the conditions are not complied with there is a chance that you may be charged by the police and could face going to court.


Anyone under the age of 17 cannot be rewarded a caution, this is to try and prevent them from appearing in court. Instead, anyone under this age bracket faces a reprimand or a final warning.


Cautions are usually awarded for low levels of crime, however if a caution if handed out for a sexual offence, there is a possibility that you will be placed on the sex offenders register.


Legally anyone who has had a crime committed against them can ask for the name and address of the person who committed the crime, this can then lead to the victim suing them for any damages they have received.



Reprimands are usually awarded to those who are between the ages of 10 and 18, along with final warnings.


Usually a reprimand is awarded as punishment for the first minor offence that is committed. The final warning is then awarded for any additional offence that is committed, no matter how minor it might be. If the first offence is too serious to be awarded a reprimand, a final warning will be awarded straight away.


Spent convictions

Spent convictions mean that under the Rehabilitation of Offenders act the conviction that has been awarded to an individual will become spent. The length of time it takes for a conviction to become spent is based on the length of the sentence awarded, not the actual offence that was committed. If a custodial sentence of more than two and a half years is awarded, the conviction will never become spent.


If you require further information on any type of conviction, please call CRB Express on 01254 355678 and speak to one of our friendly advisors.


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