Fare Evasion

Despite the serious implications of a prosecution for an oyster card offence or fare evasion, legal aid is not available.

Although fare evasion is usually punished by a fine, which can be up to £1,000, if a decision is made to prosecute, it will give you a criminal record, which will stay with you forever if the prosecution succeeds. This could result in you losing your job, it may prevent you from travelling abroad to certain countries, or it may affect your right to remain living in this country if you are not a British Citizen.

Passengers using public transport may be liable to pay for a fine or prosecution in the following circumstances:

  • If you travel on a train or bus without a valid ticket or permit to travel
  • If you travel in a class of accommodation for which the ticket is not valid
  • If you are present in a compulsory ticket area without a valid ticket or permit to travel

A ticket or permit is not valid if:-

  • You are an adult with more than two accompanying children travelling free of charge
  • The ticket or permit you use to travel belongs to someone else
  • The ticket or permit is restricted to a different train company
  • You are travelling with a ticket or permit after the expiry date, unless the ticket expires during your journey, in which case you will be allowed to complete your journey
  • You are travelling on a day, date or time during which restrictions are imposed which render your ticket or permit invalid
  • You start, break and resume or end your journey when you are not entitled to do so.
  • Usually the ticket inspector has the discretion to issue a penalty fine or to refer the case to the prosecution department. If that discretion is not properly exercised or if proper procedures are not followed then the decision to prosecute may be challenged. Some companies do not allow the inspectors to have any discretion and the inspectors are required to refer cases straight to the prosecution team.Despite policy recommendations to the contrary, the decision to prosecute is now being exercised stringently.

There can be harsh consequences, even where there is a genuine mistake or misunderstanding of the law, if the case is not properly argued. It is therefore important that you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

If you have been stopped and it has been alleged that you have evaded fares this will trigger a process. The earlier that we can be involved in this process the more likely it is that we will be able to resolve the matter for you. Please see our helpful guide which details the usual steps undertaken, so that you can identify where you are in the process.

Most prosecutions are brought under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, although there are some Byelaw offences which are punishable by way of fine. Where the fare evasion is carried out over a long period of time, a prosecution can be made for fraud under the Fraud Act 2006.

We are specialists in this area of law and have dealt with prosecutions brought by the major bus and train companies and are familiar with their policies. We deal with the following companies:-

  • Transport for London (Docklands Light Railway, Tube, London Overground)
  • Southeastern
  • GTR - Govia Thameslink Railway
  • Transport Investigations
  • C2C Rail Ltd
  • First Capital Connect
  • CrossCountry Trains
  • East Midlands Trains
  • South West Trains
  • Southern
  • Virgin Trains
  • London Midland
  • Northern Rail
  • Arriva Trains Wales
  • Chiltern Railways
  • Merseyrail
  • National Express East Anglia
  • Heathrow Connect
  • Heathrow Express
  • Gatwick Express

We are able to offer our services throughout England and Wales. We offer consultations through Skype or telephone where a face to face meeting is not practicable.

Our Fare Evasion Team

Fare Evasion Case Studies

Fare Evasion Case Studies

These are just some recent examples of the cases we deal with on a daily basis.

Transport For London Cases

The client was a student with a promising future who had used a freedom pass on multiple occasions. The client had already received a court summons when he instructed us. His own representations to the prosecution were rejected. We were able to secure an out of court settlement for our client through correspondence setting out how a conviction would affect him. Our client is now able to accept his offer of a place at university and is free to now pursue his career.

Our client was a part time worker who had a history of depression and unemployment. Our client used a freedom pass on multiple occasions. We were able to make representations which secured an out of court settlement for him which allowed him to continue his employment and his routine which was very important to him.

Our client was a professional person working within the finance sector. Our client used a freedom pass on multiple occasions. We were able to make representations to show how a conviction would affect not only her employment but her citizenship also. An out of court settlement was secured for a delighted client.

Our client was a professional person working within the finance sector. After substantial research, our client chose our firm to represent him due to our approach in dealing with this issue. Our client had used a staff pass which did not belong to him for his travel. We were able to make representations and secure an out of court settlement for a delighted client.

The client, who was a teacher, had been using the Freedom Pass of a relative. She had subsequently moved abroad to work and if prosecuted would have lost her job and visa. The client had already made her own representations to TFL, which were unsuccessful in persuading TFL to withdraw the prosecution. We put forward further representations and TFL agreed not to proceed with the prosecution and accepted an out of court settlement.

The client had purchased a travel card for zones 1 and 2, but travelled outside these zones using an oyster card with insufficient monies to exit the station. The client was summonsed to court. We were able to secure an adjournment so that written representations could be made by us on behalf of the client to TFL. The client was a professional and a criminal conviction would have resulted in him losing his job and consequently, possibly his home if he was unable to pay the mortgage. On the basis of our written submissions an out of court settlement was agreed and the client was able to keep his job.

Our client was a film Director; he was meeting a friend and in a hurry so he jumped on a train without a ticket and tried to exit using an oyster card with insufficient top up. The client risked losing a promising career if he was unable to travel to the United States, a conviction would have prevented him from doing so. Following written submissions we were able to persuade the train company to settle out of court.

A banker allegedly misused a family member’s Freedom Pass. TFL decided to prosecute. As this is a dishonesty offence the banker would have been unable to continue to practice if convicted. We were able to successfully persuade TFL to agree an out of court settlement.

The client had allegedly been using a student card belonging to a friend. The case went to trial and we were able to prove that proper procedure had not been followed by the revenue inspector. TFL were forced to withdraw the prosecution and we were able to secure a defence costs order for the client.

The client was a store manager working in customer service. On one occasion only he travelled using the freedom pass of his mother-in-law. The client would have lost his job had there been a conviction. We wrote to TFL on his behalf and were able to persuade them to agree to an out of court settlement.

The client works in the media industry he did not have a valid ticket and tried to go through the barrier but was stopped. A decision was made to prosecute. We were able to prevent a prosecution by providing mitigation to TFL who agreed an out of court settlement.

The client, who works in the banking industry and would have lost his job. He was allegedly travelling without a valid ticket for his journey. A decision was made to prosecute. Following representations by us to TFL, they agreed to withdraw the prosecution and settled out of court.

Our client travelled on one occasion without a valid ticket. A decision was made to prosecute. The client would have lost his job if prosecuted. Although the client tried to mitigate initially on their own behalf, they were unsuccessful. We were then instructed and were able to obtain an adjournment on behalf of the client and made further representations, on his behalf. As a result of these representations an out of court settlement was agreed.

The client misused his friend’s student discount card in error. A decision was made to prosecute. Following representations the prosecution was withdrawn. We were able to show that this was an isolated incident and it was used in error. The client works as a financial adviser and his career and employment prospects would have been destroyed.

The client used her deceased mother’s freedom pass on multiple occasions. A decision was made to prosecute. Following representation an adjournment was agreed. We raised legal arguments in correspondence. The prosecution was withdrawn and an out of court settlement agreed.

The client was a student in the middle of his degree, during his degree he was required to travel and therefore a conviction would have impacted on his ability to complete his degree course. The client received a court summons and sought advice after his own written representations were unsuccessful. An out of court settlement was agreed on payment of a small fine.

The client used her husband’s freedom pass on one occasion. She worked as a deputy head of a school and had done a lot of charity work. We were able to put forward mitigation which resulted in there being an out of court settlement.

The client was a financial adviser who relied on his job to support his whole family, here and abroad. Despite there being multiple offences we were able to put forward mitigating circumstances that resulted in an out of court settlement.

The client was a teacher and personal trainer. He used his mother’s Freedom pass on one journey only. We were able to negotiate an out of court settlement.

The client had moved to live and work in the United States and had returned for a month to visit family. She faced a prosecution for travelling without a valid ticket having used her brother’s staff discount card. The client would not have been able to return to the United states had there been a conviction. We were able to negotiate an out of court settlement.

The client, who worked in HR, was found to have been travelling without a ticket on more than one occasion. If convicted she would have lost her job and been unable to pay her mortgage.

The client worked in a supermarket and used her mother in law’s freedom pass. She had done so on only one occasion, we acted on her behalf and agreed an out of court settlement.

We represented a client who was found to have been travelling on a bus with no ticket. An out of court settlement was agreed.

A client, who was due to become a university lecturer travelled using the freedom pass of his father. He had been offered a job abroad and a conviction would have resulted in him losing the job offer. An out of court settlement was negotiated on his behalf.

The client worked for a financial institution and would have lost her job. We were able to put forward mitigation on her behalf and an out of court settlement was agreed.

The client used his mother’s freedom pass several times following her death. Human rights arguments were put forward on behalf of the client, who would have been deported to a dangerous situation. The client received a court summons and sought advice after his own written representations were unsuccessful. We were able to produce written representations which achieved an out of court settlement and the proceedings were withdrawn.

South Eastern Railway

The client had allegedly not been buying a ticket over a long period. The client would have lost her job had there been a conviction and she had a young family to support. We were able to offer mitigation and an out of court settlement was agreed.

The client worked for a large financial institution, he had a baby on the way and the family were financially reliant on him. He would have lost his job. We wrote to South Eastern Railway and were able to agree an out of court settlement.

The client fell asleep on a train and went beyond his destination by mistake. Without thinking he was doing anything wrong he boarded a South Eastern train, without obtaining a ticket, to return to his intended destination. The client, if convicted would have lost his career in finance and may have had his visa to live and work in this country revoked. As a result of written representations by us, the train company agreed an out of court settlement.

The client had been travelling without a valid ticket for 6 months and gave a false name when interviewed by the ticket officer. The client received a court summons and sought advice after his own written representations were unsuccessful. We were able to make written representations to South East Trains and reached an out of Court settlement at the Court hearing.

The client was a young man starting off his career with a financial company. He travelled without a ticket on one occasion. Following mitigation an out of court settlement was agreed.

The client worked for a financial institution and had used a family member’s freedom pass. The client received a court summons and sought advice after his own written representations were unsuccessful. An out of court settlement was agreed.

The client owned businesses in England and Dubai. He was abroad and was sentenced in his absence, but did not receive papers. We were able to reopen the case and agreed an out of court settlement. He would not have been able to travel to Dubai to manage the business if the conviction had not been overturned.

Greater Anglia

The client was an architect and could have lost his job. On one occasion he allegedly tried to go through a barrier without a ticket. Following representations by us on his behalf the prosecution was withdrawn and an out of court settlement was agreed.

Client whose plans to work in politics would have been destroyed, went through a barrier without a valid ticket. We responded on her behalf to their initial letter and agreed an out of court settlement.

First Capital Connect

The client, who worked in finance, had travelled without a valid ticket on one occasion. With a criminal conviction he would have lost his job and future career prospects. We put forward mitigating circumstances and an out of court settlement was agreed.

The client was a secretary with law a degree and had allegedly been travelling without a valid ticket and her career prospects would have been destroyed. Following representations by us an out of court settlement was agreed.

Govia Thameslink Rail

The client was a writer. It was alleged that he misused a carnet ticket in Wales by using it twice. The client received a court summons and sought advice after his own written representations were unsuccessful. We were able to successfully reach an out of court settlement through negotiation with the rail network.

South West Trains

The client was a deputy head teacher and was alleged to have been travelling without a ticket on one occasion. He would have lost his job and would not have been able to pay his mortgage if convicted. He sought advice when he received a court summons after his own written representations were unsuccessful. Following representations by us an out of court settlement was agreed.

The client worked for a large financial institution and would have lost her job. We put forward mitigating circumstances and an out of court settlement was agreed.

The client worked for the NHS and did not purchase a ticket. It was suspected that the client had been doing this over a long period of time and that he had travelled without a ticket on 11 journeys. The client also provided misleading information at the scene and was investigated over a period of a week. The client received a court summons and sought advice after his own written representations were unsuccessful. We were able to achieve an out of court settlement for the client at the court hearing after a number of letters were sent to the Prosecution.

Northern Rail

The client, who worked in the media industry travelled without a valid ticket on one occasion as he had only paid for part of his journey. The client received a court summons and sought advice after his own written representations were unsuccessful. An out of court settlement was agreed.

The client was an editor. He had travelled several times without a valid ticket. We negotiated an out of court settlement on behalf of the client.

Testimonials

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Why Choose Us?

You will find us friendly, approachable and understanding. We are sensitive to the difficult situation you are faced with. We act swiftly and without delay. We offer Skype consultations so that you do not have to lose a day off work. We are able to deal with fare evasion cases in any part of the country.

Our specialist Fare Evasion Team is headed by Simon Connolly who has over thirty years’ experience as a criminal lawyer and has dealt with crimes at all levels from minor offences to high profile serious offences.

We offer fixed fees wherever possible at competitive rates and you can be sure that you will be advised by an experienced lawyer who will deal with your case throughout.