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Warnings and Formal Cautions

Warnings

Cautions

How are cautions given?

How do cautions affect my criminal record?

Warnings


A young person can be given an on-the-spot warning if they have committed, or are believed to have committed, a minor offence.  Some examples are if you are caught drinking in public or swearing.  
You are most likely to receive a warning if you have not committed a crime before or been given a warning or caution.

Cautions

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

In deciding whether to give you a formal caution or to charge you with an offence, the police officer will consider:  
  • your criminal history
  • your age and maturity; and
  • your parent’s input,

How are cautions given?


Police give formal cautions at their discretion . 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 does not become part of your criminal history. But it may become part of your police record.  

This page was last updated 28 June 2015.

   
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