Fare Evasion Solicitors in Bexleyheath, Blackheath & Petts Wood
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)
- GTR – Govia Thameslink Railway
- Transport Investigations
- 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
Our Fare Evasion Solicitors 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.