How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70531
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been charged with a minor assault (Common assaut with

Customer Question

I have been charged with a minor assault (Common assaut with battery). I am due to go to court on 12/4. Is one possible outcome, that the Magistartes deal with this by caution on the day?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.



First hearing 12/4 - expected to be dealt with by police caution - an ABH charge at arrest, was reduced to assault by battery at return to bail. My solicitor says that I can plead not guilty so their team can review, in detail, all of the file as they are unlikely to have a transcript of the police interview given to them at this first hearing (a plea hearing). I am minded to follow this advice although I do not know if I can be conditionally discharged on the day or if the Magistrates can be convinced to say ' this should be dealt with by caution'.


If I plead 'not guilty' I am being advised that the legal team can then liaise with the CPS and try to work toward a caution before the trial, or even an NFA. I am cognisant that this will reduce the discount but given the relatively low level of the offence (my first encounter with the police ever - I am by the way 46 and a business man), the sentence, though inconvenient, is likely to be of low consequence.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Sorry about the delay. What are the facts of the offence?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was on a train - two men were sat behind me, in drink. One threw something at me. I approached them to ask them to stop there rudeness. One got up as if to threaten me physically, I punched him. I got arrested at the next station. He suffered a loosened tooth and a pretty small cut to his lip.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
The magistrates cannot give you a caution. However, the matter can be referred back to the police for consideration of caution if it in the public interest to do so. It could be your interests to attempt that here. Sometimes the police are keen to caution in these type of cases where the extent of the wrongdoing is really just a case of taking the law into your own hands. If you get a sensible CPS reviewer then probably he will think it is often the public interest to prosecute. That said, there are a lot of CPS lawyers about who are not all that sensible and will see this as the beginnings of anarchy. It's difficult to see which way this will go because the injuries are at the higher end of the common assault bracket. It's certainly worth investigating though.

In summary, the magistrates cannot caution you but they can refer the matter back to the police.

Hope this helps. Please press ACCEPT and then I will answer your follow up questions for free. Your question will not close but I will thereafter give you related information at no extra cost.
Jo C. and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you that. Plan is plead guilty then legal reps will try and negotiate the charge down to a caution with the CPS pre- trial. Apparently when/if that is offered I can change my plea to guilty to "qualify" for a caution and avoid court. If negotiations price fruitless I can switch to a guilty plea any time before court and although I will have reduced "discount" I will have played my best hand/strategy. Do you broadly concur?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
No, you cant do that. Once you've pleaded guilty, there is no more room for negotiation.

You need to negotiate before pleading rather than after.

You will reduce your discount for a guilty plea if negotiates fail but sometimes that is worth doing.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sorry I meant plead not guilty at magistrates - long day! Then perhaps plead guilty if caution offered
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Thats the way to advance this.

All the best.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I meant to ask one other thing, do I have to attend the magistrates court to submit my plea - its over 100 miles away from where I live.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
You do for a common assault I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
are you by chance joshua monro
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for this information. I'm just travelling home so can't open your post but I'll be back within the hour and then I can concentrate fully on this. Thanks for your patience.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Sorry, no I'm not!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My firm are using a barrister with that name and it resembles your tag on this site. Would have been a strange coincidence. Thanks for earlier help. Case has been adjourned twice at court. Injured parties statements have pages missing. My charge was reduced to assault by battery. Solicitor trying to get case dealt with by caution before court date. The delays are unreal.