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Hi, I am a British citizen residing abroad. In Christmas 2008 I was arrested in the Uk, although I was not charged, and was allowed to leave the Uk to return home, I was told that I should contact the police at the same station again the next time I was in the country. I have not returned to the Uk since then, but am now planning a visit for next summer. Obviously, I am worried what may happen next, especially as should I receive a criminal record, I would be likely to unable to continue in my job abroad. How do I go about contacting a solicitor to deal with this matter? Regards XXX
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Were you ever charged please?
But probably only because I had to leave the UK to return to my job abroad
Ok - what was the alleged offence?
Drink driving - I was unable to register on the breathalyser when the test was done 3 times so was arrested and taken to the police station where they found a small amount of cocaine in my bag. I was kept in the cells overnight, interviewed the following afternoon and released with arrangements to return the following week. I was unable to do so and phoned to say that and that I would be unable to return before leaving the country. They agreed that was ok but that on my next visit to the Uk I should return to the police station.
Ok - you don't need to worry
The offence expires 6 months after the date. Therefore as its been years it is now time barred
They can't bring any charges.
So you don't need to worry
The offence has gone
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
So I don't even need to get in touch with the police when I return to the Uk?
The offence is time barred
Does that help?
YES! So just to clarify, I am never going to be charged or re-arrested in regards ***** ***** event at any point in the future on my return to the Uk and there is no need for me to take any further action whatsoever?
That is right.
No need to take any action
Then offence has gone
Can I clarify anything else for you about this today please?
I have heard that having been unable to register on the breathalyser and so failing the test by default means that I am liable to lose my driving licence for a year. Is this also no longer a concern as part of the same offence?
If you are living abroad then you should not have a UK licence anyway, but you can drive on your international one here
Unless you have been charged with anything, your licence can't be revoked, save for medical grounds by the DVLA
So don't worry - you are not facing anything here in the UK
Is my Uk licence no longer valid when I am visiting the UK?
It is, but you should be driving on the one of your now home country
If you don't come to the UK very often.
Ok. Thank you very much for your help!
Can I clarify anything else for you?
I phoned a solicitor in regards ***** ***** issue about 4 years ago to clarify the situation. This was a solicitor local to the police station. They did not tell me that the offence had expired and that I was no longer able to be charged. Instead, he recommended that I avoid coming back to the Uk. The following day, the police paid a visit to the address where I had last been residing in the Uk to ask about my whereabouts. They were informed that I was not in the country and shortly afterwards the police contact I dealt with in 2008 phoned me to remind me that next time I return to the UK I should get in touch with them. I just want to be absolutely SURE that I do not actually have to do this.
Ok - the offence is summary only which means it has to be charged within 6 months.
After 6 months then they are out of time to charge for the offence
Does that clarify?
Yes. Thank you.
Great. Can I help with anything else today?
No, that's very helpful. Thank you