Caught in the act

"Caught in the Act": a schoolboy was caught in the act of drawing a caricature of his teacher on the blackboard. Painting by Francesco Bergamini (1815-1883).

"Caught in the act" is a phrase that means that someone was caught in the middle of committing an offense (rather than after, or before). Another phrase meaning the same thing is "caught red-handed".

The corresponding legal term is in flagrante delicto (literally: "in blazing offense"), or sometimes simply in flagrante. However outside of legal contexts the phrase in flagrante is commonly used in connection with sexual misconduct, such as sexual intercourse out of marriage, so it has strong connotations with sexuality for many people.


Being caught in the act is usually considered clear evidence that not only that an offense was committed but also proves beyond doubt who the miscreant was. Unless they have convincing excuse for their doing, the person caught in the act is bound to be considered guilty, and punishment of one sort or another is likely to follow. This motif of being caught red-handed is therefore often found in spanking literature, spanking videos and spanking art.

A spanking as punishment can follow on the spot, or be delayed to a later time and a place better suited for corporal punishment.

Spanking videosEdit

A selection of caught-in-the-act punishment videos. See lying, stealing, and smoking for more related titles.

See alsoEdit