Fare Evasion Settle Out Of Court – If you have been notified that you may be charged with the criminal offence of fare evasion, you are advised to speak to an expert fare evasion solicitor as soon as possible.
At Solicitors Near Me, we can connect you with local fare evasion lawyers with a high level of experience in managing fare evasion allegations. They will be able to step in straightaway to represent you and will often be able to secure a fare evasion settlement out of court. This means that you will avoid the risk of a criminal record.
Because fare evasion is a ‘strict liability’ offence, if your case is taken to court you are likely to be found guilty. This is because it is no defence to say that it was an accident or a mistake or that you believed you had paid the correct fare. If you are found guilty of fare evasion at court, you will have a criminal record. This can be very damaging for your reputation.
For some professionals in regulated industries, it could mean an end to their career. You may also find it difficult to secure a visa, should you ever need one.
This is why you are strongly recommended to secure the services of a fare evasion expert to represent you.
We handpick the solicitors we recommend on the basis of their legal expertise as well as the high level of service that they provide.
Our fare evasion services
Fare evasion services offered by our recommended solicitors include:
- Advising you on the strength of your case
- Attending a fare evasion interview as your legal representative
- Corresponding with the relevant transport authority on your behalf
- Negotiating an out of court settlement for fare evasion
- Representing you at court in a fare evasion prosecution
What is fare evasion?
Fare evasion is defined as travelling on transport without having paid the fare or not having a valid ticket. It includes:
- Travelling further than you are entitled to with your ticket
- Sitting in an area that you are not entitled to
- Travelling at a time that your ticket does not entitle you to
- Not having a ticket
- Having a ticket that has expired
- Having a ticket for a different journey or train company or that has restrictions
- Using a ticket, pass or discount card that does not belong to you
- Boarding a train without having purchased a ticket
- Having the wrong ticket for your journey, to include having a junior ticket when you are too old to qualify
How the train companies such as TFL prosecute fare evasion
If you are discovered to have the wrong ticket or no ticket, you will generally receive a letter from Transport for London or other transport authority. This will ask you whether you admit to the offence. Some companies will advise you straightaway that they intend to prosecute.
This is the point at which you should speak to a fare evasion solicitor, if you have not already done so. They will be able to help you put together a strong response, setting out your case and giving the transport authority details of any mitigating circumstances which could persuade them to settle out of court.
You will have a limited time to respond, so it is important to act quickly. If you leave it, then the transport authority may decide to commence a prosecution and it can be harder to stop this once it has been started.
Different railway authorities use different laws to deal with cases and this can affect how your case is handled. Some use the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 (the Act), while some use railway bye laws. If you are prosecuted under the Act, it may be necessary for the transport authority to show that you were intentionally travelling on the railway without having paid the fare. Under the bye laws, the prosecution does not have to show any intention, it is enough that you were on the train without the right ticket.
Our solicitors will let you know what legislation is being used to prosecute you and what this means for your case. Rail companies and prosecution agents they routinely deal with include:
- Transport for London, which includes the tube
- Govia Thameslink
- Chiltern Railways
- South Western Railway
- London Midland
- East Midlands Train
- Greater Anglia
- Northern Rail
- Transport for Wales
- Transport Investigations Ltd, an agent that deals with fare evasion for some rail authorities
Transport authority, eg. TFL fare evasion settle out of court
Once you have been contacted by the transport authority, for example, Transport for London, we can write a letter of representation on your behalf offering to settle out of court.
The transport authority does not have to agree to this, so it is important to make the most persuasive arguments possible.
Our fare evasion solicitors are frequently able to settle matters before they reach court, avoiding a criminal conviction.
Criminal record for fare evasion
A criminal record can seriously impact your life and your career. For many jobs, you will be required to disclose any criminal convictions. It will also be searchable on an enhanced DBS check for eleven years. For those in certain regulated sectors, a criminal record can mean they are no longer able to work in this area.
For these reasons, you are strongly recommended to take prompt action to deal with matters before they reach the court.
If you have been advised that you need to attend court, it is still not too late to secure legal representation. Our solicitors can ask for the case to be adjourned where necessary and prepare the strongest possible defence. It is also possible to work to settle matters out of court right up until the start of the hearing.
Contact local fare evasion lawyers
At Solicitors Near Me, we work with the best fare evasion solicitors in the business. We can connect you with an expert in your local area who will be able to take up your case straightaway and work to resolve matters so that you can avoid a criminal conviction.