I am due to travel to the USA in a month or so (Miami) and then again a month later to Las Vegas for a family holiday.
My situation is as follows;
I am currently on bail for possession, GBH and affray. The GBH & affray happened in December. My solicitor has indicated he highly doubts that there will be any conviction for 2 reasons. Firstly, the 'assault' was actually a disagreement with a friend at a christmas night out & the friend is totally on our side. Consistently telling the police he has no interest in pressing charges...i actually sit next to the guy daily....we went for lunch the day after! Secondly in any case it was a single punch in retaliation so hardly GBH. All parties (including the police we think) expect it to fall apart over the coming months, but they must follow as procedure. Absolute worst case, it would be common assault & public disorder, definitely not GBH and affray. But as it stands, I'm non bail for GBH & affray which i suppose is the relevant fact.
The possession charge is equally frustrating. To cut a long story short, a single pill of class A drug was found loose in my jacket pocket and tested positive as a drug. I was drug tested which came back negative. I then went and got a 12 month drug test (privately & £1200 ouch ) which agreed with the police drug test coming in negative on literally everything. I have never even tried drugs so an incredibly frustrating situation. We have opted for a trial to be in a crown court instead of magistrates so i get an opportunity to explain how this could of got there. We though a magistrate (understandably) would refuse to accept I didn't know, and a jury was my only option as at least they would take into consideration all of the negative results. Again the solicitor has said the emphasis is on the court to prove i was aware of the possession which given my background and job etc seems highly unlikely, so hopefully and more likely than not, i won't get a conviction.
Other than the last 2 months I've been arrested once, for criminal damage, notably trying to force
open the shutter of drive through KFC when i was 18 on my way home from a night out.Other than that my record is totally clean, no previous for anything.
So to be clear as thing stand my record shows one conviction (a caution) for criminal damage, and that is all. In addition I'm on bail for GBH, possession & affray (i realise this sounds awful!)
I am clearly ineligible to travel on an ESTA due to the arrest, regardless of the fact i haven't been charged and am unlikely to be. I gather that if i go for a visa i will certainly be rejected i am on bail and they will simply say wait until we have a result on those 2 charges, again, understandably. How much information is really available at US border control? Ive actually been to the US 10+ occasions since the caution for criminal damage 7 or 8 years ago, and I've never declared this on an ESTA... would filling in an ESTA now with those 2 bails looming over me be any different?
Maybe being on bail is a huge red flag for them and they will want to know exactly what for as it could be for a horrendous crime?
Any advice would be very much appreciated - I realise that officially i should not be travelling on an ESTA, and that i should cancel the trips but anyone who can offer insight beyond this would be great. Please remember I'm talking incredibly short term...once these 2 charges go away in 6 months, i will definitely be applying for a visa through the embassy as if i get no convictions (but have been arrested) I'm hoping to convince the embassy to give me a visa, but right now, on bail, they simply won't listen (again - understandably).