There's no chance for me, is there?

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Jason240

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25 Feb 2021
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My situation is unique, I'm technically a repeat offender. I was caught without a ticket yesterday and the officers were nice enough to let me off with a small fine. The next day, I had to head off to the samish place. This time, I made sure to buy a ticket. Imagine my complete and utter surprise when my return ticket didn't let me through the barriers and the officer said it expired yesterday. I bought the ticket around 9:30pm and made the foolish assumption that it would last til tommorow morning. I was asked for my details and I was so tired I was unable to fully grasp the questions the officer asked me, which he said could possibly be used in court (should that happen) - something about means to pay and another one I didn't fully hear. I want to knw how likely this is to go to the court. The document he gave said they may prosecute me, but I don't if that's a garauntee or not. how lilely, given I'm a repeat offender, is it that this could be settled out of court. Am I just screwed. I'm really scared right now and can't stop thinking about this. A convinction could ruin my life, I was just getting my life back together.
 
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Haywain

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Am I just screwed. I'm really scared right now and can't stop thinking about this. A convinction could ruin my life, I was just getting my life back together.
Your life will not be ruined and there is a fair chance you will be able to settle the matter out of court. Which train company is involved?
 

cakefiend

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You'll receive a letter in the post asking for you to explain your side of the story. They'll make a decision on what to do next based on how you reply.

If you express sufficient remorse and state your wish to make good the far and cover their costs incurred, there's a good chance they will offer to settle out of court. I'd certainly highlight that you made sure to buy a ticket, having learned your lesson from the day before. As regards to using a ticket that's out of date, could you say what two stations this was between? Where did it happen? Do you often travel by train, or has there been a long time since you had used the train before these incidents?

If they still take it to court, it's still likely that you will be prosecuted under the railway byelaws - so these won't appear on the majority (if not all) records. Byelaws also cover things like littering, drinking in the street, and parking - just to give you an idea of the magnitude.

There is no need for you to panic or be anxious, as intimidating as the language used in these situations and forms can be, it's often for a specific legal purpose or to discourage people from doing it again! It might reassure you to read through the other threads in here, you'll find that a great many of them were able to settle out of court - it is the preferred option to many operators.
 

JBuchananGB

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30 Jan 2017
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As you have discovered, if a ticket has the word "DAY" in its name such as "DAY RETURN", it is valid only on the day of issue, or strictly speaking until 4.30am the following day. You mistakenly supposed it meant it was valid for 24 hours from time of issue. There are return tickets which are valid for return up to one month after the day of issue, but these are not available on some routes. The letter which you receive will ask you to explain your situation, but unfortunately as you have been found without a valid ticket, the best approach, having explained your mistake, is to offer to pay the appropriate SINGLE fare for the journey you made in the morning with the expired ticket, plus the administration fee, which could be up to £100.
 

Jason240

New Member
Joined
25 Feb 2021
Messages
3
Location
United Kingdom
You'll receive a letter in the post asking for you to explain your side of the story. They'll make a decision on what to do next based on how you reply.

If you express sufficient remorse and state your wish to make good the far and cover their costs incurred, there's a good chance they will offer to settle out of court. I'd certainly highlight that you made sure to buy a ticket, having learned your lesson from the day before. As regards to using a ticket that's out of date, could you say what two stations this was between? Where did it happen? Do you often travel by train, or has there been a long time since you had used the train before these incidents?

If they still take it to court, it's still likely that you will be prosecuted under the railway byelaws - so these won't appear on the majority (if not all) records. Byelaws also cover things like littering, drinking in the street, and parking - just to give you an idea of the magnitude.

There is no need for you to panic or be anxious, as intimidating as the language used in these situations and forms can be, it's often for a specific legal purpose or to discourage people from doing it again! It might reassure you to read through the other threads in here, you'll find that a great many of them were able to settle out of court - it is the preferred option to many operators.
Thanks for the response, that's sorta a relief. It was from Kent to Outer London(Bexely area). I do travel by train often(pre-covid), but I've never really paid much attention to the expriation dates, I've always assumed they lasted a day at the very least, it genuinly didn't occur to me that my ticket could expire in a mere three hours.

As you have discovered, if a ticket has the word "DAY" in its name such as "DAY RETURN", it is valid only on the day of issue, or strictly speaking until 4.30am the following day. You mistakenly supposed it meant it was valid for 24 hours from time of issue. There are return tickets which are valid for return up to one month after the day of issue, but these are not available on some routes. The letter which you receive will ask you to explain your situation, but unfortunately as you have been found without a valid ticket, the best approach, having explained your mistake, is to offer to pay the appropriate SINGLE fare for the journey you made in the morning with the expired ticket, plus the administration fee, which could be up to £100.
Thanks for the response. I really hope its just an adminstration fee and ticket price I need to pay. You're right, that's the exact assumption I made. I should mention also that the ticket was off-peak, which again put in my mind, that it must surely last til the morning, but in retrospect, I see why that was silly assumption on my part.
 
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NSB2017

Member
Joined
12 Jun 2018
Messages
49
Not that making such predictions is always helpful, but cost of ticket plus £150 is probably the area to start thinking about with regards to an out of court settlement.
 

WesternLancer

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
3,887
My situation is unique, I'm technically a repeat offender. I was caught without a ticket yesterday and the officers were nice enough to let me off with a small fine. The next day, I had to head off to the samish place. This time, I made sure to buy a ticket. Imagine my complete and utter surprise when my return ticket didn't let me through the barriers and the officer said it expired yesterday. I bought the ticket around 9:30pm and made the foolish assumption that it would last til tommorow morning. I was asked for my details and I was so tired I was unable to fully grasp the questions the officer asked me, which he said could possibly be used in court (should that happen) - something about means to pay and another one I didn't fully hear. I want to knw how likely this is to go to the court. The document he gave said they may prosecute me, but I don't if that's a garauntee or not. how lilely, given I'm a repeat offender, is it that this could be settled out of court. Am I just screwed. I'm really scared right now and can't stop thinking about this. A convinction could ruin my life, I was just getting my life back together.
You need to watch out for their letter and be sure to respond to it (you can post a draft response here for comment and suggestion if you like) - so as far as you can recall, did you give them your correct postal address? If not it may go to court without you knowing as you would never get the letter before then giving you the chance to apologise and offer to settle out of court, and then you are into far more complicated and possibly more expensive efforts to sort it out.

Also - I take it from your explanation that the barrier rejected the ticket on exit AFTER the journey? - thus meaning you had committed the offence when questioned, not on your attempt to start your journey (which would suggest you were attempting to use an invalid ticket, but had not actually done so - albeit an attempt in error I appreciate).
 
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