What does "No further action" actually mean for me?
The outcome "no further action" recorded by the police when they do not wish to pursue a criminal investigation is common practice. It does not mean that you have been found not guilty of a criminal offence. You may have had your case dropped by the police but you have not been formally acquitted.
An obvious example of this would be where a criminal investigation has been undertaken by the police and the accused was found to have had a cast-iron alibi confirming he was not present at the scene of an offence, at the time it occurred; the outcome of the police investigation would still be recorded as no further action, it would not be recorded that the accused was innocent of a criminal offence.
Some cases do have additional information recorded against them where it is obvious that there has been a malicious prosecution, but there has to be clear evidence of targeted wrongdoing for this to occur. In most cases the Crown have simply assessed that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. They do not have to provide reasons to you as to why they have reached this assessment.
This can have a huge impact on those accused as we are all aware that the general public, and other agencies, view such matters in a "there is no smoke without fire" light. Or put another way you are perceived as guilty - its just that they can’t prove it.
Often, despite the police taking no further action further assessments of the accused have to be undertaken in relation to continued employment, college placements, or risk and safeguarding. Other agencies may have to be contacted for their views in relation to these issues.
In order to achieve a balanced view of any investigation and, we would say, future risk, it is important that any defence representations are properly considered in relation to follow up assessments or committee decisions.
The importance of robust defence representation cannot be underestimated in any disputed criminal investigation or false allegation matter. Call Monan Gozzett to obtain expert advice.