Fare Evasion Solicitors
Fare Evasion Solicitors in Bexleyheath, Blackheath and Petts Wood
Despite the serious implications of a prosecution for fare evasion or an oyster card offence, 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 and you subsequently plead guilty or are found guilty at trial, it will lead to a criminal record. This could result in you losing your job, may prevent you from travelling or working abroad in certain countries, or it may affect your right to remain living in this country if you are not a British Citizen.
How we can help
- We can provide legal advice about the possible outcomes of your case and implications if you are convicted.
- We can make representations to the rail company to negotiate an out of Court settlement or alternative to a prosecution, such as a warning letter.
- We can represent you at an interview under caution (see below about interviews).
- We can provide representation at a Court hearing (see below about Court hearings).
- We can also provide initial advice even if you wish to represent yourself or make your own representations.
When you could be fined
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.
What happens next?
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.
In fare evasion matters the rail company can ask you to attend an interview at a station. This is often because they suspect that there have been other offences committed in the past or they are concerned about a suspicious pattern of journeys.
If you are invited for an interview, Aletta Shaw can arrange for a representative to attend with you. We will obtain initial disclosure of evidence from the investigator and advise you accordingly before the interview. During the interview the representative will ensure that the interview is being conducted following the proper rules and procedures and intervene if you are asked a question that is inappropriate. They will also be there to assist if you need further advice or any special measures during the interview. Our representative will also use the time at the interview to try to negotiate a settlement or other disposal to avoid prosecution or Court proceedings. Our approach has been very successful for our clients, for many years.
Representation at Court
We often find that clients come to us once a hearing has already been listed. Even if the hearing is only a few days away we can still help. This is the case for all rail companies including, Southeastern, Govia Thameslink and Transport Investigation Limited.
In our consultation we will advise you of your options and can arrange for a representative to attend Court with you, if required. We will guide you through the process and can offer advice even if you wish to represent yourself.
The benefits of instructing a representative to attend Court with you will depend on the facts of your case. Where we believe there are grounds to negotiate a settlement, we can either do so before the hearing or request an adjournment in order to allow more time to correspond with the rail company.
In cases where the rail company has refused to settle and the matter proceeds to a hearing there are still benefits of taking a representative along with you. In recent cases where clients have entered guilty pleas, we have still managed to secure an absolute discharge with no costs or fine to pay. During our consultation meeting we will be able to advise you about this and the possible outcomes of your case.
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.
Transport Investigations Limited (TIL)
We have been dealing with cases from Transport Investigations Limited for many years. Their process usually begins with a letter to you asking for a response within 21 days. In our consultation we will advise you about the law and the usual next steps in a case against TIL. We have secured excellent outcomes for our clients even if the deadline to respond has passed.
Govia Thameslink (GTR)
We have been representing client with Govia Thameslink cases for many years and have achieved excellent results. We find that our tried and tested approach means that our representations are very persuasive in achieving excellent outcomes for our clients, not only with Govia Thameslink cases but also many other rail companies.
We also have extensive experience dealing with the following rail companies:
- C2C Rail Ltd
- First Capital Connect
- CrossCountry Trains
- East Midlands Trains
- South West Trains
- Virgin Trains
- London Midland
- Northern Rail
- Arriva Trains Wales
- Chiltern Railways
- Greater Anglia
- Heathrow Connect
- Heathrow Express
- Gatwick Express
- Transport for London (Docklands Light Railway, Tube, London Overground)
Our fare evasion solicitors can offer our services throughout England and Wales. We offer consultations by Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime or telephone if a face to face meeting is not possible.
Contact Aletta Shaw on 020 8301 4884 to see how we can help you.