Fare Evasion Defense

Has a rail company summoned you to attend court to answer a charge of fare evasion? Worried that you might get a criminal record? Concerned about the consequences this may have on your future career prospects or your current employment? Our experienced criminal law solicitors can help.

We have a specialist niche in representing professionals and other individuals accused of fare evasion. Our success rate in persuading rail companies to drop any charges and negotiate an out-of-court settlement is very high.

Different rail authorities have varying policies over settling these type of cases. If you want the reassurance of expert advice in this area please contact us. In our experience too many defendants fail to grasp the possible implications of a conviction for fare evasion and either ignore correspondence until it is too late or fail to take legal advice to see if they can defend or divert a prosecution.

If you are stopped by a ticket inspector you could later face charges under railway bye laws for not having a valid ticket in a restricted area, for fare evasion with intent or under the Fraud Act 2003.

Even convictions for byelaw offenses – which should theoretically be non –recordable – may feature on your criminal record for life. Having to reveal any conviction could present problems when applying for a job or professional accreditation, a visa to travel abroad or with an immigration application.

Anyone charged with fare evasion on the rail network should consider seeking legal advice for two reasons. First, in the vast majority of cases in which we have been instructed, particularly with first time offenders, we have secured out of court settlements by negotiating with the rail companies.

More importantly, a fare evasion conviction is not a trivial matter. A conviction may lead to a criminal record. This could cause problems in later life for anyone working in or wishing to enter the professions or seeking accreditation from a regulated body. 

*** 2020 UPDATE – Over the past year TFL has taken a very hard line in rejecting all representations for out-of-court settlements. Their new policy is that they will not agree to this type of resolution. Consequently, GCG has decided not to undertake any more TFL cases rather than disappoint clients with unrealistic expectations. ***

Client A, a law student of previous good character. A was stopped on a bus and was using her mother’s travel card.

A was summonsed to attend court and charged with fare evasion. If convicted, she may have been unable to practice as a lawyer.

An out of court settlement was agreed. The charges were discontinued.

Client B was a trainee chef. He was stopped leaving a train station having travelled without a ticket. Before instructing us she pleaded not guilty and the matter was set down for trial.

With our intervention and assistance an out of court negotiation was reached and the case dropped.

Client C held a senior position in an investment firm. A conviction for fare evasion could have led to regulatory intervention and his dismissal.

On the eve of his first court appearance we persuaded the prosecution to settle the case. The prosecution against C was dropped.

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