fare evasion solicitors

Online Justice Proposals for Fare Evasion Prosecutions Dropped

With the General Election looming, a lack of parliamentary time has forced the Government to drop proposals for those charged with fare evasion to be tried online. These proposals were criticised in an earlier BSQ blog - see here.  

However, it seems inevitable that proposals in a similar form will be resurrected after a new Government is in place. 

 

Online Justice Proposals for Fare Evasion Prosecutions Criticised

New Government proposals aimed at allowing individuals accused of fare evasion to plead guilty online have been discussed in Parliament. Under the guise of promoting efficiency it is proposed that anyone charged with fare evasion will be able to plead guilty, have a case disposed of by way of a fine and make payment over the internet.

At BSQ our private client department specialises in defending individuals in these type of cases. We are concerned that these proposals risk causing injustice as they may encourage defendants to plead guilty out of convenience.

BSQ partner Roger Sahota commented that:

“Anyone charged with fare evasion should consider seeking legal advice for two reasons.

First, in the vast majority of cases we have been instructed in, particularly with first time offenders, we have managed to secure out of court settlements by negotiating with the rail companies.

More importantly, a fare evasion conviction should not be regarded a trivial matter. A conviction can lead to a criminal record. This may cause problems for individuals working in or wishing to enter the professions or seeking accreditation from a regulated body.

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."

See our fare evasion practice page for more details. 

Rail Prosecutions Discontinued

Two more notable results for our private client crime department.

Berkeley Square Solicitors has successfully persuaded the rail prosecuting agencies to discontinue two rail prosecutions.  

In both cases our clients were professionals of good character who approached the firm after they had been summonsed to answer charges before the South Western Magistrates Court. 

Berkeley Square Solicitors have acted in a number of rail prosecutions and are specialists in this area. Contact our London offices for further information.

Berkeley Square Solicitors - Professional Client Vindicated

Fare evasion may seem like a trivial crime. However thousands of people each year are convicted of this offence and many do not realise until too late the impact it can have on their future job prospects.

A conviction for a dishonesty offence can cause serious problems in particular for anyone looking to enter into one of the professions.

Berkeley Square Solicitors’s regulatory team is therefore pleased another success in persuading the rail authorities not to prosecute one of our clients. As the consequence of our intervention, our client, a City of London professional retains their good character and court proceedings have been averted.   I

In the past few years we have successfully advised a number of university students and city and public professionals on diversions from prosecution in similar situations.

If you require advice in relation to a potential fare evasion prosecution please contact us.