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 £1.50. 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, not tapping in 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)
- Passing through the ticket barriers without paying
- Travelling 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 and most of the other rail providers usually write to an individual who they suspect of fare evasion, asking them to respond to the allegation. You will usually be asked to respond within ten days. They will then consider whether to initiate a prosecution. If they decide to prosecute, 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 representations offering to settle out of court so as to prevent prosecution .
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.
“Wonderful experience. Knowledgeable and responsiveness with a great outcome.
I hired BSB firm to represent me in a TfL fare case in October 2018. James provided an excellent service and put his excellent knowledge to help me get the best results in something that could have effected my whole professional and personal life in the UK.
We discussed everything that happened and even thought was a hard case he built a strong defense we the results could not have been better.” January 2019
“Really great service and very professional. Turned things around very quickly and were the most efficient solicitors I have ever dealt with. Would certainly recommend.”
V.S November (2018)
“I recently contacted BSB Solicitors in relation to a potential fare evasion prosecution. I discussed the situation initially over the phone and then met at the BSB office in Central London. The lawyer who dealt with my case put me at ease straight aware and was professional throughout my consultation. It is evident that she is very experienced in dealing with fare evasion prosecutions and aware of the impact that a potential prosecution can have on ones career and volunteer work. The whole situation was resolved very quickly in just over a week and much to my relief I received a warning for forgetting to tap in, rather than a prosecution and a criminal record. I would highly recommend BSB Solicitors and I am extremely grateful for all their help on resolving this situation so quickly.”
R.H August (2018)
“I would definitely recommend BSB Solicitors. They were extremely professional and helpful. I was immediately made to feel at ease at our first meeting and they always provided very clear instructions and advice throughout our email communications. I am very pleased with the conclusion of my case.”
JT September (2017)
“BSB was my first choice when I faced the likelihood of prosecution after I failed to show a valid bus ticket when travelling in Central London. The consequences for me as regards my right to work in the UK were extremely high, and so this situation was cause for lots of stress.
“BSB Solicitors fielded my call in a very professional, courteous, and sympathetic manner, and helped plan a response to TfL over the course of just three working days. After a brief waiting period, I received good news that the representations made were considered proportionate to a warning and a fine only. This was a great result and I could not be more grateful.”
AAR (August 2107)
“BSB Solicitors are a company you can definitely put your trust in. I have had the privilege of working with then, true professionals, who has used all their knowledge and effort, to reach the best possible solution for me, in record time. I can say with all my heart, that no matter the case, you can truly rely on this law firm, and you can expect the most favourable result. ”
A.K (July 2017)
“I am so pleased that I have chosen BSB Solicitors to help me with my case. My solicitor has been extremely professional and his confidence has put my mind at rest. Most importantly I got the result that I wanted! Thoroughly recommend! ”
MS (July 2017)
“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks for the highly professional and thorough service that I received from BSB Solicitors. They immediately made me feel at ease and left no stone unturned in order to achieve a successful conclusion to my case. As someone unfamiliar with any type of legal proceedings they made sure I was updated through every step of the process and, ultimately, helped me to achieve a satisfactory conclusion. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone I know who was looking for legal representation in any matter. ”
CV (July 2017)
“I decided to use my mother’s Freedom Pass just to save money which was a terrible mistake. I had been using it for a few weeks when I was stopped by a ticket inspector. I then received a letter from Tfl saying that I was summoned to court for fare evasion. I was lucky to find BSB Solicitors who helped me with my case. From start to finish, my claim was dealt very professionally. They did an excellent job and she gave me all the information I needed. I would highly recommend BSB Solicitors to anyone in the future.”
T. T. ( June 2017)
“I was summoned to court for fare evasion by TFL, for using my fathers Freedom Pass which I was guilty of. I was facedwith the prospect of receiving a hefty fine and a criminal record. As you can imagine, any criminal record on a 27-year-olds CV would be detrimental to many future opportunities.
“After contacting several firms, I was greeted with a strong sense of optimism by everyone at BSB Solicitors. They
were honest, kind, warm and efficient. Furthermore, their consultation fees, in comparison to several others was also the most honest I’d come across. Having felt very positive about my initial interaction with the person who took my initial phone call, I immediately booked a consultation the next day.”
“I arrived early and was greeted with smiles and a lot of reassurance. The solicitor who took on my case took a statement, we spoke about my situation in depth. He was very honest and though the odds may have been against us, he was able to come up with a good plan of action. Throughout the process there was great communication between us and a week or so later, he informed me I was able to settle out of court with no criminal conviction.”
I cannot stress enough how good BSB Solicitors have been. I would recommend them to anyone facing a similar situation. Thanks, BSB Solicitors”.
N.A (April 2017)
Are Rail Penalty Fares Fair?
Eighty six percent of people in the UK do not fully understand the rules on rail penalty fares, and as a result and could have criminal sanctions made on them inappropriately, according to BSB Solicitor’s national survey.