Q&As

Can a prosecution be brought after a simple caution has been issued? How can a local authority start criminal proceedings for a criminal regulatory offence?

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Published on LexisPSL on 11/06/2018

The following Corporate Crime Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a prosecution be brought after a simple caution has been issued? How can a local authority start criminal proceedings for a criminal regulatory offence?
  • Simple cautions
  • Prosecution after a simple caution has been issued
  • Commencing a prosecution for a regulatory offence

Can a prosecution be brought after a simple caution has been issued? How can a local authority start criminal proceedings for a criminal regulatory offence?

In this Q&A, we refer to the issue of a simple caution under section 17 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (CJCA 2015).

Simple cautions

The use of a simple caution is governed by CJCA 2015, s 17. The section applies to all offences irrespective of when the offences were committed. Simple cautions for adults are a means of dealing with low level crime without commencing criminal proceedings. A simple caution may only be given where specified criteria are met. One key factor is that the offender must admit to the commission of the offence. If the offender does not admit to the crime, a simple caution must not be given. If an offender refuses to admit their guilt and accept a caution, the refusal may result in a prosecution being brought against them.

For further information, see Practice Note: Alternatives to prosecution for adults and commentary: Alternatives to prosecution—Simple cautions (Adults): Blackstone’s Criminal Practice [D2.24].

The decision to issue a caution can be challenged by way of judicial review. See Practice Note: Judicial review of prosecution decisions.

Prosecution after a simple caution has been issued

The issue and acceptance of a simple caution is an alternative to the starting of a criminal prosecution.

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