Transport For London (TFL) has an aggressive prosecution policy when it comes to Fare Evasion. We are seeing more an more examples of clients being summoned to court over unpaid fares of as little as £3. The most common example of fare evasion involves the use of another person’s Oyster Card to get the benefit of reduced or free travel. Other examples can include travelling on a ticket which does not cover the entire journey or simply being without a valid ticket.
When might you be accused of Fare Evasion?
- Using another person’s ticket (Student Oyster Card, Freedom Pass or another type of discounted travel card)
- Deliberately pass through the ticket barriers without paying
- Intentionally travel further than your ticket allows you to
- Travelling in a first-class carriage, when only purchasing a standard ticket
What happens if you’re accused of fare evasion?
Transport for London usually writes to an individual who they suspect of fare evasion, asking them to respond to the allegation. They will then consider whether to initiate a prosecution. If they decide to prosecute you, you will receive a Court Summons in the post, providing a date when you must attend court. The form will ask you whether you intend to plead guilty or not guilty and will give you an option to enter your plea by post.
In cases where longer term avoidance of fares in suspected, for example using someone else’s reduced fare Oyster Card over a period of time, Transport for London (TFL) may want to interview you under caution. It is advisable to seek the representation of a solicitor in this situation.
Call us on 020 7837 3456 for private 24/7 Emergency Legal Advice and a confidential consultation.
Will I get a Criminal Record for Fare Evasion?
If you were to plead guilty at court or to be found guilty after a trial, this is a criminal conviction.
For someone who has no previous convictions, it is, of course, a great shock to be facing a court appearance. A criminal conviction can negatively affect job prospects, particularly in certain fields and can impact visa applications to some countries.
What can BSB Solicitors do?
We have a great deal of experience in this area and have had consistent success in settling these matters out of court, avoiding a criminal record. We offer a fixed fee service, which includes:
consultation and advice
guidance in providing supporting documents
writing a letter of representation to TFL offering to settle out of court
If you have been invited to attend an interview regarding an allegation of Fare Evasion, we strongly recommend you have the benefit of a criminal defence solicitor’s presence.
Please contact our office on 020 7837 3456 for further details and to make an appointment.