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Crime

Fare Evasion Solicitors

While fare evasion may seem like a relatively minor infraction in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to realise that transport companies treat it extremely seriously. To attempt to get your court charges dropped, call 0207 624 7771 or email Solicitors@Jdspicer.co.uk for a fast response.  We have experience in persuading rail and transport companies to deal with fare evasion cases out of court.

 

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Transport investigations can bring court proceedings to prosecute anyone who has allegedly avoided a train fare, which could lead to a criminal conviction.

If you are accused of evading a train fare, getting urgent legal representation is crucial. This is something our dedicated fare evasion solicitors at JD Spicer Zeb will be able to provide.

We have specialist expertise in handling fare evasion prosecutions and offer a same-day service to ensure you receive advice and representation as quickly as possible.

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Our focus will be on ensuring that the facts of the case are heard and that you are able to secure the best possible outcome. Depending on the circumstances, this could mean having a case dropped altogether or persuading a prosecutor to offer an alternative out-of-court penalty by dropping a criminal charge.

No matter the circumstances, it is important that you do not attempt to handle a fare evasion case without having legal advice, especially if court proceedings have been issued. The consequences of doing so could be severe, as a criminal conviction is a distinct possibility.

Our fare evasion solicitors provide:

  • A same day service for train fare evasion cases
  • 24/7 legal support in person and over the phone, 365 days a year
  • Representation anywhere in England or Wales
  • Clear, effective legal advice in any language (see our languages spoken)

How can we help?

Common questions

We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.

How quickly do you respond?

We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.

Can you get cases dropped?

Yes, read about the recent cases we've helped our clients with here.

We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you. 

Have you won any awards?

OUR PROFESSIONAL BODY THE LAW SOCIETY AWARDED US IN OCTOBER 2020 WITH THE EXCELLENCE IN CLIENT SERVICE AWARD AND STATED - 

"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".

Do you offer free consultations?

Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about  –

  • Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
  • Public and private funding benefits.
  • Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
  • An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
  • Providing our free written guide explaining the police station process.
  • The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
  • Consequences of not attending the court or police station.
  • Consequences of interfering with any witnesses.
  • Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
  • If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
  • This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
  • Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.

Consultations do not apply to the following cases –

  • If we do not intend to take the case on.
  • Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
  • In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
  • Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
  • The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
  • The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
  • In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
  • If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
  • If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance. 
  • If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
  • If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
  • To businesses.
  • Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
  • Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
  • Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
  • Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
  • If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
  • If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.

Speak to our fare evasion solicitors today

To discuss our same day service for train fare evasion and the available options, contact our local offices in LondonBirmingham or Manchester.

For urgent advice at any time of day or night regarding fare evasion, please call our Emergency Number 07836 577 556.

Our expertise with train fare evasion

As a firm, we have over 45 years of experience in handling all types of criminal law matters, including fare evasion. This experience, coupled with our specialist expertise, means that we are able to provide a carefully tailored service which accounts for your personal circumstances.

The penalties for fare evasion are much more serious than you may initially expect. If you receive a criminal conviction, it could affect your employment prospects, your ability to visit some countries and your personal life.

Our team have previously been able to secure positive outcomes for clients who have faced train evasion accusations, including cases that have been taken to the Magistrates’ Court. We have the expertise to build a strong defence for your individual case, no matter what the surrounding context may be.

We know that the prospect of a fare evasion criminal record can be extremely daunting and distressing. If you are due to face court proceedings, we will ensure that you receive close personal support and are properly informed on how your case is proceeding and what the likely outcome will be.

We are accredited by the Law Society for Criminal Litigation and have also achieved Lexcel accreditation, reflecting the high standards of our legal practice.

As a testament to the high standards of client care our team provides, we frequently receive referrals and recommendations from clients who have been satisfied with our legal services, which we have been providing for over 45 years.

Fees and funding

We are always clear and transparent when it comes to our legal fees.

In some cases, legal aid public funding may be available. Whether or not this is the case will depend on the seriousness of the case and whether it justifies the grant of public funding.

If legal aid public funding is not available, the alternative option will be to find a case privately.

To find out more about the way we handle fees (both legal aid public funding and private fees), please use the links provided below:

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Common questions about fare evasion

What is fare evasion?

Fare evasion refers to any incident where you are unable to provide a valid ticket for all or part of your train journey to a ticket officer or a revenue inspector.

Examples of fare evasion can include:

  • Boarding a train without having purchased a ticket
  • Travelling further than a train ticket permits
  • Travelling with the incorrect ticket type
  • Travelling at a time that renders a ticket invalid (e.g. travelling with an off-peak ticket at peak times)
  • Intentionally avoiding a ticket inspector
  • Passing through a ticket barrier without showing a ticket
  • Travelling with a ticket issued to another person (e.g. a ticket purchased using someone else’s railcard)
  • Travelling in a class of accommodation that has not been paid for

A failure to produce a valid ticket on request or to give a name and address could lead to a person being detained and brought before a court. Evading a fare with intent to do so can amount to a criminal offence. Giving false details when found to be evading a fare is also a crime.  Simply being in a compulsory ticket area or travelling on a train without a ticket can also amount to an offence even if you did not intend to evade a fare (although there are some defences available).

What happens if you are accused of fare evasion?

If you have been accused of train fare evasion, the train company will usually write to you to ask you to respond to the allegation. A prosecution decision will then be made by the train company.

If the train company decides to prosecute, you will receive a court summons for an unpaid train ticket in the post. This will confirm a time and date for the case to be heard in court.

The form you receive will also ask you to confirm whether you intend to plead guilty or not guilty, with the option of submitting this plea by post.

If there is an accusation that fare avoidance has taken place over a long period (such as using someone else’s Oyster Card), there is the possibility that Transport for London (TFL) will want to interview you under caution. If this request is made, it is essential that you have the representation of a solicitor on your side.

Is fare evasion a criminal offence in the UK?

Yes, fare evasion can result in a criminal conviction. This includes where fare evasion is a first offence.

Fare evasion is prosecuted in one of two ways:

  • s.5(3) of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 – “Intentionally travelling on the Railway without having paid the fare and with intent to avoid payment.”
  • Railway Bye Law 18(1) & 17(1) – “Entering a train for the purpose of travel without a valid ticket.”

How long does a criminal record for fare evasion last?

A conviction under s.5 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 appears on a basic DBS check until it is considered ‘spent’. These matters are dealt with by fines and therefore are spent after 12 months.

What is the Single Justice Procedure and how does it apply to fare evasion?

Under the “Single Justice Procedure” courts can deal with certain low level offences without the necessity of the defendant having to attend court. The offence must be one which is not imprisonable, a perfect example being fare evasion.

The single justice procedure arose as a result of s.46 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. The 2015 Act allowed relevant prosecutors to prosecute such cases. Under the Criminal Justice Act (New Method of Instituting Proceedings) (Specification of Relevant Prosecutors) Order 2016 railway operators were designated as “relevant prosecutors”

Recently, at Westminster Magistrates Court, a woman was prosecuted at that court for failing to pay her fare on the railway. However, the Senior District Judge has considered the case as a part of six “test cases” being looked into by the court.

It appears that a number of cases have been brought under legislation – the Railway Regulation Act 1889 – which appears not to be part of the Single Justice Procedure regime. If that is the case then it appears that many thousands of cases brought under the Railway Regulation Act 1889 in the past may be unlawful. This may affect many people who were dealt with under the Single Justice Procedure having pleaded guilty and were fined.

Two of the railway companies involved, Greater Anglia and Northern Rail, have said they no longer use the Single Justice Procedure in relation to offences under the Railway Regulation Act 1889 and are reviewing previous cases.

Contact our fare evasion solicitors now

If you have been accused of fare evasion, are due to make an appearance in court, or are concerned about that prospect, please do not hesitate to get in touch to receive urgent advice from our specialist team.

To make the most of our same day service for fare evasion, you can contact a member of our dedicated team of criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:

Or email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

24/7 legal representation for fare evasion cases

For immediate representation and advice, you can contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556 and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.

How can we help?

  • Umar Zeb
      • Umar Zeb
      • Senior Partner - Head of Private Client Crime
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  • Lisa Nicol
      • Lisa Nicol
      • Managing Partner - Head of Crime & Serious Cases
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  • James O'Donnell
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  • Sanjay Cholera
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