Caution for drug possession

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by Jacques_Bustard, Feb 22, 2010.

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  1. Dear All,

    A bit convoluted this but my sister in law's friend's son wants to join the army and she's been asked to provide a character reference. She has asked me what sort of things the army might be looking for and I gave some advice. Having probed a little furhter it turns out this lad (17 or 18 years old) has a caution for possession of cannabis. Is this a show stopper in terms of his army ambitions?

    Many thanks

  2. Hi,

    No it isn't. There is a rule of thumb within the armed forces that 1 conviction/caution for possession of class B/C is o.k and will not effect his application. 2 cautions he may have a problem.

    A caution is a conviction, it shows up on a CRB check next to actual convictions by courts, reprimands and warnings. The government try to convince people a caution is not a conviction, but it is as good as one. For example if the lad in question wanted to visit the US, he would have to apply for a visa and cannabis cautions are now the most frequent convictions to be rejected a visa. They just won't let you in if you have been caught in possession of any kind of drugs.

    Now, how do the British government argue it isn't a conviction when they supply the information to the US Embassey?...Its wrong and a total lie.

    Heres the good part, there is a thing called a "street caution", this isn't worth the paper its written on!!!!.....Basically if found in simple possession your name will be taken into the officers note pad and the drugs seized. These types of cautions very very rarely make it onto the convictions page of the PNC. Its simple & formal cautions which do, not street cautions.

    My advice would be to apply for a subject access form from the police. They cost 10 pound from your local police constabulary. See what they have on him, if it doesn't show up don't declare it. Remember formal cautions become spent in 3 months after issue, street cautions and simple cautions become spent straight away. Only give the information you are required to give on his application......hope this helps!
  3. Many thanks for the reply, I'll pass that on, especially the last paragraph.
  4. I'm interested in the subject access form. Many years ago I was arrested for something I hadn't done. They dropped the charges a few weeks later. However, if I want to go to the USA on the Visa Waiver scheme I can't in theory because I have to declare that I have been arrested and therefore need a visa. Would such an enquiry reveal whether pnc held anything on me?
  5. I would also advise him to be as open and honest as possible. Lots of lads have admitted to taking drugs before service and have been accepted on the proviso that they understand and comply with the rules within service.

    If he thinks there is any possibility of anything being on record and he chooses not to declare it he will be well and truly f*cked on the integrity point.
  6. It depends mate. Heres how it works....... You are not allowed into the USA if you where convicted of a crime involving 'Moral Turpitude". What Moral Turpitude stands for is very confusing. Some cases have been granted a visa whilst others with the same offence have been rejected. It all goes on a case to case basis.

    What I do know is that when "no further action" was taken against you after your arrest, your information will be stored under "non convictions". This is a page that only the police have access to. They can if they want to be cnuts declare the non convictions on an enhanced CRB check. But it would be very rare they did. I'd presume only if the arrest was to do with abusing children, rape etc. In your case I very much doubt it involves anything of that nature.

    Now if you apply for the "VISA subject access" the non-convictions page will not be printed on the form for VISA applications. But in the small print when you sign and send of for it it does say....."By signing this document you declare the right for the metropolitan police to share any data relevant to your visa application with the US Embassey". this means you are signing over the right for them to share all your information on the PNC if asked by the US Embassey. This will include non-convictions.

    Its bizarre that they can get away with this especially if no charge was brought against you.

    To be honest mate alot of people disregard the VISA and use the VWP without any problems. Trouble is, if you get caught expect to be banned from the US forever!
  7. So how do I go about finding whether they have any records of the arrest and non conviction then? It was 16 years ago. Stealing motor vehicles! :? I've never had so much as a parking ticket! :)
  8. Thank you thats a good point and I'll pass that on.
  9. Go to the constabulary that originaly arrested you. Either in person or via the net. The net is your best option. All regional forces have a website. Put in the search engine of the site...... "Subject Access, Freedom of Information Act". It should then give you a link to the PDF online application. Print the form off and fill it out. They ask for at least 2 proofs of identity photocopys, drivers license and a passport will do. They also ask for a postal order of 10 pound. Send to relevant address and within 40 days you will receive you background check.

    I know that if an offence was commited more than 15 years ago the US look at it alot lighter, because of the time you have been rehabiltated. I am also fairly sure that any theft is "Moral Turpitude". It would mean a ban from the US but because you say you wern't charged and it was 16 years ago I think you will be o.k. Its a joke really all because of these nutty terrorists genuine people who got into a bit of trouble at a young age are being punished.

    I hope everything goes well for you.
  10. I wonder why we don't have a similar visa policy....................

    Oh thats right, our border control is dog shoite
  11. I always thought it strange that the US Visa questionnaire asks not if there is a conviction, but if there has been any "arrest".

    At the end of the day a lot of arrests are not followed through to even interview, never mind a charge, and if a serious matter has been notified to police, they are very likely to "arrest" and "de-arrest later" if the first information of the identlty of the arrested person is wrong or if the evidence is not available.

    What is the state of an "interview under caution" ?

    I am certainly coming across a lot of cases where young people who happen to be near an incident which occurs are arrested, video evidence looked at, then de-arrests made?

    Personally I have no wish to return to the US but there are apparently those who do!