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Have a caution, will I be able practice law? Watch

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    I am a leaving cert student who is looking at courses for next year. I'm very interested in law but have just realised that there may not be a point in studying it. Can anyone tell me, if I have a caution from when I was 14 years of age for shoplifting, will I be able to be a solisitor or barrister or will anyone hire me?

    Before anyone judges me or says anything offensive, Ino what I did was so wrong and I will never live down the shame or embarrassment of that crime. I was a young teen who fell into bad habits! It is one of my biggest regrets. It one of the reasons I am so interested in law now.
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    (Original post by Moolym667)
    I am a leaving cert student who is looking at courses for next year. I'm very interested in law but have just realised that there may not be a point in studying it. Can anyone tell me, if I have a caution from when I was 14 years of age for shoplifting, will I be able to be a solisitor or barrister or will anyone hire me?

    Before anyone judges me or says anything offensive, Ino what I did was so wrong and I will never live down the shame or embarrassment of that crime. I was a young teen who fell into bad habits! It is one of my biggest regrets. It one of the reasons I am so interested in law now.
    My understanding is that it will have been removed from your record 2 years after its been given and will no show on DBS.. So that probably means depending on your ages its probably already gone, which means youd have nothing to worry about when applying for clearance at the SRA and it wont compromise your ability to follow a legal career.. It will have been spent and filtered.

    Bit late for me so if you want it explaining then just contact Nacro’s Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999 or email [email protected]
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    My understanding is that it will have been removed from your record 2 years after its been given and will no show on DBS.. So that probably means depending on your ages its probably already gone, which means youd have nothing to worry about when applying for clearance at the SRA and it wont compromise your ability to follow a legal career.. It will have been spent and filtered.

    Bit late for me so if you want it explaining then just contact Nacro’s Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999 or email [email protected]
    Not quite true. It would still have to be declared to the SRA if we are talking about England & Wales.

    Not sure what the process is in Ireland though.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Not quite true. It would still have to be declared to the SRA if we are talking about England & Wales.

    Not sure what the process is in Ireland though.
    Even where its no longer on your record? I'd have to check the wording, but care to elaborate?
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Even where its no longer on your record? I'd have to check the wording, but care to elaborate?
    Yes - there would be an enhanced DBS check and the SRA process is about self declaration anyway. The wording about the suitability test is clear that it means any caution.

    Given the person's age of the caution it is unlikely to be an issue but would have to be declared.
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    I think a caution as a young teen, is less severe than an actual conviction as an adult. I think you should study what you're interested in, do well and make employers view you as you are now and what you have achieved. It may not be an issue at all so I think you should give it a go!
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Yes - there would be an enhanced DBS check and the SRA process is about self declaration anyway. The wording about the suitability test is clear that it means any caution.

    Given the person's age of the caution it is unlikely to be an issue but would have to be declared.
    My understanding is its a standard check and that I think the caution is filtered, so he wont have to disclose it and it wont appear on his record. I would just check with the SRA.

    Notwithstanding nobody believes it poses a realistic bar for OP. That was never in issue.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    My understanding is its a standard check and that I think the caution is filtered, so he wont have to disclose it and it wont appear on his record. I would just check with the SRA.

    Notwithstanding nobody believes it poses a realistic bar for OP. That was never in issue.
    They would definitely have to disclose it to the SRA - I've seen this process a handful of times and it is incredibly important that someone declares all cautions.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Yes - there would be an enhanced DBS check and the SRA process is about self declaration anyway. The wording about the suitability test is clear that it means any caution.

    Given the person's age of the caution it is unlikely to be an issue but would have to be declared.
    There are a number of self-declarations where spent convictions can be omitted, such as insurance. The reason SRA can ask regardless is because the legal profession is one of the professions exempted from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

    (Original post by 999tigger)
    My understanding is its a standard check and that I think the caution is filtered, so he wont have to disclose it and it wont appear on his record. I would just check with the SRA.

    Notwithstanding nobody believes it poses a realistic bar for OP. That was never in issue.
    I am not sure if it is filtered or not from the DBS check, but the act of lying on your suitability test form would be dishonesty and might potentially lead to your application being barred on those grounds should SRA found out. It is safer simply to declare the caution.
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    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    There are a number of self-declarations where spent convictions can be omitted, such as insurance. The reason SRA can ask regardless is because the legal profession is one of the professions exempted from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974..
    What are the other things that can be omitted? To be fair, I have only ever dealt with these form of low level crime cautions, never anything to do with something like insurance. Are you suggesting something like insurance fraud could be omitted?
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    What are the other things that can be omitted? To be fair, I have only ever dealt with these form of low level crime cautions, never anything to do with something like insurance. Are you suggesting something like insurance fraud could be omitted?
    No, sorry for the confusion. I mean that you can omit spent convictions when you are applying for insurance for your house, business etc. Even though it is a "self-declaration". Essentially, unless the profession your disclosure pertains to is an exception to the Act, you have the legal right to "lie" and pretend the spent conviction never happened.
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    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    No, sorry for the confusion. I mean that you can omit spent convictions when you are applying for insurance for your house, business etc. Even though it is a "self-declaration". Essentially, unless the profession your disclosure pertains to is an exception to the Act, you have the legal right to "lie" and pretend the spent conviction never happened.
    Ahh I see... thanks for the clarity! One of the failed attempts of getting SRA clearance I know of is where someone fraudulently claimed on their insurance so I was a bit .
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Ahh I see... thanks for the clarity! One of the failed attempts of getting SRA clearance I know of is where someone fraudulently claimed on their insurance so I was a bit .
    Ahh, apologies. Crimes of dishonesty (and involving money!) are the absolute worst for SRA. It is the one thing they definitely do not like, so certainly not something you can keep to yourself.

    I think they'd much rather have someone convicted of murder on their books than an insurance fraudster.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    They would definitely have to disclose it to the SRA - I've seen this process a handful of times and it is incredibly important that someone declares all cautions.

    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    I am not sure if it is filtered or not from the DBS check, but the act of lying on your suitability test form would be dishonesty and might potentially lead to your application being barred on those grounds should SRA found out. It is safer simply to declare the caution.


    In this situation I am not so sure they have to and would check with the SRA on a no names basis. the point is why disclose if they dont have to? I believe its filtered and they arent required to disclose it.

    The handbook says

    Name:  cautions.PNG
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    https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/ha...2/content.page

    I understand the disclose it anyway.point and that its not likely to be a barrier, but without being dishonest why disclose something you dont have to and doesnt appear on your record? If the SRA told me to disclose it then I would and if they said it was my choice and no need, then I wouldnt.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    In this situation I am not so sure they have to and would check with the SRA on a no names basis. the point is why disclose if they dont have to? I believe its filtered and they arent required to disclose it.

    The handbook says

    Name:  cautions.PNG
Views: 41
Size:  22.8 KB

    https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/ha...2/content.page

    I understand the disclose it anyway.point and that its not likely to be a barrier, but without being dishonest why disclose something you dont have to and doesnt appear on your record? If the SRA told me to disclose it then I would and if they said it was my choice and no need, then I wouldnt.
    The problem is the SRA's advice before going through a formal process, whether on their website or when discussing things anonymously is horrendously vague and where specific inconsistent.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    In this situation I am not so sure they have to and would check with the SRA on a no names basis. the point is why disclose if they dont have to? I believe its filtered and they arent required to disclose it.

    The handbook says

    Name:  cautions.PNG
Views: 41
Size:  22.8 KB

    https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/ha...2/content.page

    I understand the disclose it anyway.point and that its not likely to be a barrier, but without being dishonest why disclose something you dont have to and doesnt appear on your record? If the SRA told me to disclose it then I would and if they said it was my choice and no need, then I wouldnt.
    Well, as it is a protected caution and the SRA says it does not want to know about those, there will be no need for OP to disclose.

    Generally, the best advice is to disclose because SRA is an exempted from spent convictions and it will take inaccuracies on the suitability test as prima facie dishonesty. Good spot on the SRA handbook.
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    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    Well, as it is a protected caution and the SRA says it does not want to know about those, there will be no need for OP to disclose.

    Generally, the best advice is to disclose because SRA is an exempted from spent convictions and it will take inaccuracies on the suitability test as prima facie dishonesty. Good spot on the SRA handbook.
    I think its a bit fiddly, hence I'd probably just check to cover myself.

    I doubt any of us would have an issue with disclosing and that would be our default position. Its just the situation where you dont have to disclose, then it seems a bit pointless to do so.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    The problem is the SRA's advice before going through a formal process, whether on their website or when discussing things anonymously is horrendously vague and where specific inconsistent.
    Thats the rulebook. It doesnt look vague or inconsistent. Seems to be on point. Simple verification with the SRA that it need not be disclosed would be enough.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    The problem is the SRA's advice before going through a formal process, whether on their website or when discussing things anonymously is horrendously vague and where specific inconsistent.
    Agreed. Even when you manage to talk to someone who knows what they're talking about, they're vague as hell. "Just disclose everything and we will disregard the irrelevant bits." It's all about encouraging you to give that £100 early suitability test money.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Thats the rulebook. It doesnt look vague or inconsistent. Seems to be on point. Simple verification with the SRA that it need not be disclosed would be enough.
    But that's never the advice they provide in person - and that is where the inconsistencies lie.
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