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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10265
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I was told that charges are removed after a certain time

Resolved Question:

I was told that charges are removed after a certain time frame. If you are a foreign national and leave prior to your court hearing and surrendering your passport (thus skipping bail), you may re enter the UK after 5 years with no problem. Is that true? (for a charge such as possession of an illegal substance)

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
What bail was skipped? Police bail or was there an initial court hearing?
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

A friend was and charged with possession and intent to distribute. After consultation with the prosecution, the publicly appointed solicitor suggested to plea not guilty and that a court date will be set in some time hence. However the deal was that they had 7 days to surrender the passports to the local authorities and await that court hearing. And then unofficially of course, the solcitor noted that they are free to leave the country within those 7 days, and that a warrant would be issued, but as long as the parties did not return to the UK that nothing would happen, and that they could return after 5 years as the charges would go stale. It is now over 5 years and they want to know if it it is safe to travel to the UK on business.

Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
The charge may normally become time barred but the warrant doesn't. The reason for that is that the proceeding were raised in the court. If the person comes back to the UK they run the risk of being arrested and taken into custody on the warrant.
Possession with intent in particular would be on record.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is there only a risk if somehow you get involved with the police and they do a detail search? or is there are risk of getting stopped at the airport? do they do such searches at the airport?

(extra info: The proceedings seem understandable, the accused was compliant with officials and the judgement seemed to be, 'ok that's not acceptable here, please leave, as the processing would cost the state money, and if found guilty you'd be probably be just kicked out of the country away, and maybe pay a fine'. What is confusing is why would a solicitor mention that you could return at a later date at all? )

Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Ther is a risk that the warrant will show up at the airport. There is no authority for the proposition that the warrant expires.
I think you are right in that the court probably just wanted the person out the country but if the person came back they would in all likelihood have to answer the warrant n
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10265
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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