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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)
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.
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? )