How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JGM Your Own Question
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12189
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
Type Your Law Question Here...
JGM is online now

I was told that charges are removed after a certain time

This answer was rated:

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)

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 2 years 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.

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 2 years 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? )

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 and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you