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So a few years back, I was arrested by Irish police for prescription forgery. They let me go with a warning (adult caution) and that was it. I was under the impression that it was just a 'slap on the wrist' but my friend did tell me I was arrested even if I wasn't put in handcuffs and that it goes on a record.

I travelled to the U.S. back in 2017 before this and now want to travel again at the end of this year/start of the next. If reapplying for my ESTA, would I have to declare this arrest record or is it okay as it's not a criminal record?

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  • Were you actually arrested (being informed that you are arrested and you have rights to contact solicitors etc.)? What might be more concerning is that it was a drug related offence, even if you were not formally arrested. – xngtng May 9 at 21:13
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    If you received a formal caution or warning, then at least in the UK it would appear on your police record. The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) certificate has a section headed Police Records of Convictions, Cautions, Reprimands & Warnings. – Weather Vane May 9 at 21:53
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    I am no expert on Irish law, but it doesn't matter if the OP was contacted, detained, warned or arrested. The text of the relevant question on the ESTA application (Eligibility question 3) is not whether the applicant was arrested, but instead is whether the applicant "...violated any law related to possessing, using, or distributing illegal drugs. Whatever the occurrence is called, the truthful answer appears to be "Yes." – DavidSupportsMonica May 9 at 21:57
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    Check the ESTA questions. They are really unambiguous. If it’s drugs-related, they don’t ask about an arrest or conviction, they ask whether you violated any law. For the rest, it’s very limited and quite specific. – jcaron May 9 at 22:12
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    @phoog Yes. If the possessor doesn't have a valid prescription, the possessor's drugs are illegally possessed. Thus, the authorities can convincingly refer to the illegally possessed drugs as "illegal drugs." The wording is imprecise, but meaning is clear. – DavidSupportsMonica May 10 at 19:36

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