Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO)

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Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO)

Anyone who has been – or is due to be – given an anti-social behaviour order (or ASBO) by a court should contact the experts at DPP Law.

Our solicitors are highly experienced in representing clients who plan to appeal court orders, or who have been accused of breaching an ASBO.

In these cases, we will be able to work with you in order to verify whether your ASBO was actually breached – or to examine and challenge any evidence via a defence.

We may also be able to help you to minimise the severity of any punishment by providing relevant mitigation for the circumstances that have prompted the ASBO. We’ll also advise you on the options available if you wish to appeal any decision relating to a court order.

What Are Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)?

Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOS) are somewhat notorious in the UK. They were introduced across England, Scotland and Wales as part of the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act. However, the “traditional” ASBO is now only used in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In the other regions, they have been replaced by Civil Injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders.

ASBOs are suitable to be handed to young persons as early an age as 12 years old (10 in Northern Ireland). There is no upper age limit. They serve as legal orders to refrain from particular antisocial behaviour that involves or causes harm, harassment, alarm or distress.

The “victims” of this behaviour must be from a different household than the offender.

The activities from which ASBO holders may be ordered to refrain include spending time in certain areas – such as particular shops or public parks, interacting with certain individuals or doing specific things – like playing loud music after a certain time or defacing property.

What is the Difference Between ASBOs, Civil Injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders?

While ASBOs have only ever been focused on prevention, a Civil Injunction or Criminal Behaviour Order includes positive requirements – actions that should be taken in order to reform the offender’s behaviour or help to prevent them from reoffending.

These requirements may include drug counselling, therapy, community service and similar activities.

How do Civil Injunctions Work?

A civil injunction is a temporary order that may be granted by a court if they consider it sufficiently probable that the subject of the order either has been – or is highly likely to become – involved in the antisocial activity.

If an individual is handed a Civil Injunction, the court will place sanctions on them, preventing them from engaging in certain behaviours (similarly to an ASBO). Positive requirements, as described above, will also be applied.

How do Criminal Behaviour Orders Work?

You can only receive a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) if you’ve been convicted of a crime.

This type of order is reserved for the worst cases of antisocial behaviour and may be handed to an offender upon conviction.

“Hearsay evidence” may be used when considering a subject’s suitability for a CBO, which is not the case during typical court proceedings.

Adults who receive a CBO will need to adhere to its terms for a minimum of two years, with no maximum. Under-18s who are served with a CBO must adhere to its terms for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three.

CBOs are generally similar to ASBOs. However, as with Civil Injunctions, they usually include positive requirements.

What Happens When You Get an ASBO?

You will often receive a caution or another form of an official warning from the police or other authorities before you are handed an “ASBO”.

If you ignore that warning, the police will then apply to the court to grant an ASBO or Civil Injunction.

Usually, the police will consider various other alternatives before settling on an order of this kind. However, if they decide that this is the best course of action, you will be instructed on the terms of the order, which may include regulations that prevent you from undertaking certain activities.

If you ignore these terms within the period stipulated, you will be in breach of the order.

What Happens if You Breach an Anti-Social Behavioural Order?

It is not necessarily considered a crime to breach a Civil Injunction, and individuals who do this may not receive a criminal record.

However, depending on the circumstances, an injunction may include a “power of arrest” – and there is the possibility of up to two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine in the worst cases, or a 3-month detention order if you’re under 18.

Should a CBO be breached, the subject of that order will be considered guilty of a criminal offence. They may receive an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison (two if you’re under 18).

What to Do if You Have Been Arrested for Breaching an ASBO?

If you have been accused of breaching an anti-social behaviour or crime prevention order handed down by the court, you must get in touch with a legal expert to help you fight these accusations or to mitigate the potential punishment you will receive.

DPP Law has more than 35 years’ worth of experience in defending recipients of court orders and negotiating more favourable outcomes for cases of this kind.

Alongside this, our solicitors also advise individuals on:

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders: Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ASBO?

ASBO stands for anti-social behaviour order and refers to an order handed to an individual by a court of law that comprises of certain sanctions, prohibitions and instructions in order to prevent that individual from continuing to behave in a manner that is threatening or creates a nuisance for the general public or their neighbours, as well as occasionally requiring them to undertake activities that are likely to improve their behaviour and/or rectify the problems they have caused.

How long does an ASBO last?

A Civil Injunction lasts for up to 12 months. A CBO can last between 12 months and 3 years depending on the age of the offender and the nature of their antisocial behaviour. A CPN has no official maximum length.

What does an ASBO stop you doing?

The terms and requirements of each anti-social behaviour order depends on the behaviour they have been put in place to combat. You may be required to avoid particular areas or people, or show evidence of concerted attempts to improve or change your behaviour.

Is an ASBO a criminal record?

Being given an ASBO doesn’t equate to a criminal record, and it doesn’t mean you’ve been convicted of a crime. However, as an ASBO means you’re restricted within certain parameters, if you’re found to be breaking those restrictions, that will be a crime and can be added to your criminal record.

Can People Check If Someone has an ASBO?

If the person with the ASBO is under the age of 18, the court can take measures to protect their identity. However, there is no direct way in which to find out if someone has an ASBO. But if you have concerns about an individual or group of people in your neighbourhood, you can ask the local police station for information that they are able to share.

How many ASBOs have been issued?

In 2014, ASBOs were replaced with Civil Injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO). According to government statistics, a total of 24,427 ASBOs were issued between April 1999 and December 2013, with 2005 seeing the most issues with 4,122.

Contact DPP Law For Legal Advice

If you’ve been served with an ASBO warning and you’re concerned about what happens when you get an ASBO, or you have already been served with one and wish to appeal, speak to the solicitors at DPP Law today for expert advice, support and assistance.

Our criminal defence solicitors can defend you if you have been accused of any of the below criminal offences:

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