Our Barristers understand the anxiety caused by facing prosecution for fare evasion. Often our clients are wholly unfamiliar with the court system, and are concerned about the serious implications of having a criminal conviction on their future careers and ability to travel.
Using our considerable experience of these cases, we are able to help you through the process from beginning to end.
We have successfully negotiated out of court resolutions with many of the most prevalent transport companies, such as Transport for London, London Underground, Govia Thameslink Railway and South West Trains. Many of the cases that have gone to court have resulted in our client being found not guilty, and recouping the costs of the case.
The importance of early advice
If a transport operator prosecutes you for fare evasion, you may find yourself lumbered with a criminal record. For those who work in particular professions, such as the financial sector or with vulnerable people, you will have to disclose this conviction to your employer even after it has become ‘spent’. Some employers, particularly within banking and finance, have a policy of terminating the employment of anyone who is convicted of an offence. In addition, a conviction for fare evasion can impact a client’s ability to travel and work in the US, and elsewhere. A moment’s mistake can therefore have serious, far-reaching consequences.
However, it is often possible to resolve an allegation of fare evasion without ever having to go to court. This can only be achieved through sending carefully drafted representations to the transport provider.
The barristers at 5 Paper Buildings regularly draft representations on behalf of their clients with a view to achieving an out of court resolution. This enables the transport provider to reclaim the costs of the fare evaded, and their administrative costs, while the client avoids being convicted.
Going to court
Sometimes, the transport provider refuses to resolve the matter out of court. This can be because of the long period of time over which the client is said to have evaded fares, or the high value of the fare(s) involved.
There are two options when you are summonsed to court. In the first instance, we will always renew our written representations to try to resolve the matter prior to the hearing. If we do go to court, your 5 Paper Buildings barrister will have a conference to advise you on whether to plead ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’. The decision is always yours, however we will use our experience of these cases to advise you on how to achieve the best possible outcome, and the likelihood of you being acquitted after trial.
If you plead guilty, all you will need to do at court is confirm your identification and enter your plea; your barrister will do the rest to ensure that the sentence you receive is as low as possible.
If you plead not guilty, your barrister will represent you at trial. Barristers at 5 Paper Buildings have a strong record of securing not guilty verdicts after trial.
Acquittal of young professional on appeal after guilty pleas in the Magistrates’ Court
Josh Normanton, instructed on a direct access basis for an appeal in the Crown Court, ensured a successful appeal for a young professional accused of fare evasion offences. The client had pleaded guilty in the Magistrates’...
12 March 2018
Train company agree settlement out of court
Our client had trained and worked with children and young people since leaving university, including working in the USA. A criminal conviction would have prevented him from continuing in his chosen career, and potentially have impacted his ability to return...
01 September 2016
Fare Evasion Prosecution Dropped and Defence Costs Awarded
Our client client was recently charged with fare evasion after...
11 August 2016