Urgent help: TFL court summons

IcyMoose

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31 Jul 2020
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7
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London
Hi everyone, I’m looking for help and advice for an incident that happened on the 3rd March.
First of all I know this was very wrong, I regret my actions and will never do it again.
I was caught on the bus by an inspector for not using a correct Oyster card. I had stupidly been using an 11-15 year old Oyster card that I had found on the floor (I am 20) for about a month. I regret this idiotic decision massively.
He took my details and said tfl would later contact me.
I received my first letter around April time allowing me the chance to explain myself which I did, saying I didn’t understand the severity of using someone else’s card as long as I was paying for it myself. But explained how I understand it was wrong and I showed a great deal of remorse.
Today roughly 4 months later I received a very long letter that included a court summons for November. This is what it said on the letter

Contrary to Regulation 7(1)(b) of the Pubic Service Vehicles (conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors & Passengers) Regulations 1990 SI NO. 1020 and ocntrary to Section 25(3) of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981.

The letter also included these two statements

“If you plead guilty in person and are found guilty of any offences with which you have been charged you can, before any sentence is passed, admit all or any of the matters in the attached schedule and ask the court to take them into consideration. This in turn will result in not been subsequently charged with any of the matters”

“You must attend court in person to confirm that you do not wish to be prosecuted for those offences and that you were the person that made those journeys”

So does this suggest I won’t have any criminal convictions??
I have to pay 238 in reimbursing tfl and 375 in court fees. As I’m a student will this likely be reduced

From reading other forums it usually says that you pay the fine and also get a record that is usually spent after 12 months. Could someone share some light on this please?
I am currently a medical school student so having a form of conviction is incredibly worrying. And from what the letter says, does it look like I’m not going to get a conviction at all if I plead guilty?
I would also like to know if there is any point writing back trying to arrange an out of court settlement even though in my original response I did offer to pay money to avoid this going to court which they ignored.

The main question is, from what the letter says, does it look promising about not getting a conviction if I plead guilty??

Any help and advice would be massively appreciated.
 
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JBuchananGB

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30 Jan 2017
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Southport
An 11-15 Zip Oyster Card gives free travel on buses and trams, and you have using it fraudulently for a month? No wonder you owe TfL a lot of money. I also give child rate fares on the tube. You admit to doing it. You will get a criminal record. You are being offered some leniency if you admit all the occasions on which you used it, listed on the “schedule”, for which they are not prosecuting you.
 

30907

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Airedale
I am not clear about this.
Have you been charged with one specific dated offence?
Do TfL have evidence of multiple offences, for example from your own statement, and is the schedule correct?
What do they say will happen if you do not admit what's on the schedule?

Your fine will be means-tested, not sure about the court fees.

Your conviction will be spent after 12 months, but may well show up on an Enhanced DBS. You would be well advised to declare it when applying for any post, and - from another case on here - expect to be challenged about your actions (even if you put them down to ignorance). (Note - I don't mean you would be barred from practising!)

I think you should get professional advice on this one - your students' union might be able to help.
 

IcyMoose

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31 Jul 2020
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Location
London
I am not clear about this.
Have you been charged with one specific dated offence?
Do TfL have evidence of multiple offences, for example from your own statement, and is the schedule correct?
What do they say will happen if you do not admit what's on the schedule?

Your fine will be means-tested, not sure about the court fees.

Your conviction will be spent after 12 months, but may well show up on an Enhanced DBS. You would be well advised to declare it when applying for any post, and - from another case on here - expect to be challenged about your actions (even if you put them down to ignorance). (Note - I don't mean you would be barred from practising!)

I think you should get professional advice on this one - your students' union might be able to help.
hi thanks for your reply, no I am being charged with multiple offences and they attached a few pieces of paper stating all the journeys I made. I agree with the schedule hence why I owe £200 odd to tfl for the journey. It says on the letter if I didn’t agree they would set another court date which I don’t want to do. It says about how if I plea guilty the charges would be dropped? Does this mean I wouldn’t get a criminal record?
And thanks I’ll see if they can help me
 

Brissle Girl

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17 Jul 2018
Messages
830
I interpret it as you are charged with the one offence. If you admit to all the others now, then in paying them the compensation for those missed fares, they undertake not to subsequently bring a court case against you for them.

But you still will get the conviction for the one offence.
 

some bloke

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12 Feb 2017
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1,056
You are well advised to consult a solicitor who deals with criminal matters.

You need to get clear on your position as a medical student - both any existing obligations as a student and the possible effects on your career.

The medical school might require you to inform them immediately that you've been charged. You might expect to see relevant information on its website, or in material you were given before the course began.

Professional bodies responsible for standards of conduct have their own rules, which you need to be aware of as well.

A student union may be able to provide not just initial legal advice but also advice on those matters.
 
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furlong

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You should get professional advice immediately - and then do not delay informing the place where you are studying as you'll need to try to keep them on your side. The sooner you take responsibility the better - delaying informing them you've been charged could count against you. and you'll want to muster all the credit and good references you can. Start preparing for how you will convince people that this remains the right course and career choice for you and for society. I think normally there would be an element of discretion, but you (or a professional advisor) should get hold of the relevant policies and work out how best to navigate them.
 

IcyMoose

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London
The GMC says students must inform their medical school immediately if they are charged - see paragraph 76 of the PDF:

You should get professional advice immediately - and then do not delay informing the place where you are studying as you'll need to try to keep them on your side. The sooner you take responsibility the better - delaying informing them you've been charged could count against you. and you'll want to muster all the credit and good references you can. Start preparing for how you will convince people that this remains the right course and career choice for you and for society. I think normally there would be an element of discretion, but you (or a professional advisor) should get hold of the relevant policies and work out how best to navigate them.
thank you for your help, I am going to contact the university today!
 
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IcyMoose

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31 Jul 2020
Messages
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Location
London
I interpret it as you are charged with the one offence. If you admit to all the others now, then in paying them the compensation for those missed fares, they undertake not to subsequently bring a court case against you for them.

But you still will get the conviction for the one offence.
Oh right I see, so I’ll most likely get charged for using someone else’s Oyster card on one occasion (the day he caught me) but if I admit to the other journeys I made in court they’ll drop the charges for the second offence. What sort of conviction will go on my record for the one off occasion and for how long?
Thanks for your help so far
 

IcyMoose

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Doctors have to declare "spent" convictions when they apply for jobs.
Yes I do realise this, what I want to understand is the type and severity of the conviction I will receive.
 

pedr

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24 Aug 2016
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Any conviction for a criminal offence is a conviction. Unless the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act applies, someone who has pleaded guilty to an offence or been found guilty after a trial should/must declare that, if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a criminal offence.

That is a slightly different question from whether the conviction would be recorded in a database accessed by the police and others if checked. Some bylaw/transport offences aren’t routinely recorded that way, but are still subject to the RoOA system.

(In brief: most employers and organisations can’t ask for/count offences punished by a fine after a year after the conviction but professional bodies and employers in certain areas, including medical professions, are exempt from that limitation so are entitled to be told of all convictions, regardless of how old they are or whether they were recorded in police databases.)

In that sense, all convictions are equally severe and of the same type, in that they have to be disclosed in certain circumstances. The differences in severity lead to differences in sentences, which means the level of fine under the bylaws on public transport. If you accept that the court can take the other alleged occurrences into consideration that could increase the fine, in exchange for TfL not prosecuting you for those additional ones, but still resulting in a conviction for the instance they’ve formally charged you with.
 

Fawkes Cat

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If you accept that the court can take the other alleged occurrences into consideration that could increase the fine, in exchange for TfL not prosecuting you for those additional ones, but still resulting in a conviction for the instance they’ve formally charged you with.
I don't think we have commented before on offences taken into consideration, but it seems to me that (assuming that there's no dispute over the facts and the OP did make the journeys in the schedule without an appropriate ticket) the OP has a choice between asking for the other occasions to be taken into consideration - result, one conviction albeit for a number of offences, and possibly a higher fine - or declining to do so and facing separate prosecution - result, a number of convictions, each with a fine. Of this choice, I think that the one that results in a single conviction is the better, in that
- it boxes the whole matter off - you know there's nothing more that TfL can do to you so you can get on with your life without prosecution taking up any more of your time and money
- at first glance, it looks like one incident (although on closer inspection it will show a pattern of misbehaviour, just as waiting for multiple convictions would do)
- it shows a willingness to accept the consequences of one's actions.
 

WesternLancer

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12 Apr 2019
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thank you for your help, I am going to contact the university today!
all sorts of good advice on here of course, but yes Students Union advice will / ought to be able to help you (they may have an arrangement with a solicitor for example that they can refer you on to if they do not advise on this in house) - you won't be the 1st person they will have had to help in this sort of scenario after all. As you will know - learn your lesson, pay the penalty, apologise, mitigate the punishment, don't do it again and move on as it were.
 

IcyMoose

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31 Jul 2020
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London
I don't think we have commented before on offences taken into consideration, but it seems to me that (assuming that there's no dispute over the facts and the OP did make the journeys in the schedule without an appropriate ticket) the OP has a choice between asking for the other occasions to be taken into consideration - result, one conviction albeit for a number of offences, and possibly a higher fine - or declining to do so and facing separate prosecution - result, a number of convictions, each with a fine. Of this choice, I think that the one that results in a single conviction is the better, in that
- it boxes the whole matter off - you know there's nothing more that TfL can do to you so you can get on with your life without prosecution taking up any more of your time and money
- at first glance, it looks like one incident (although on closer inspection it will show a pattern of misbehaviour, just as waiting for multiple convictions would do)
- it shows a willingness to accept the consequences of one's actions.
Thank you so so much for your helpful answer and thanks for helping me to understand the letter! So I am going to go to court to plead guilty and this will result in my conviction for the second offences being dropped. I’ll just be charged for the one off. Are you sure by doing this it is going to raise the fine as tfl have already calculated the schedule and it’s 200 odd worth of journeys.
I’m not too concerned about it affecting anything as the student union says these travel convictions are fairly common and don’t often result in anything drastic.
I was just trying to get some clarification with this letter and what it means which I now do, so thank you! Do you have any idea for when November comes round and what to say to the judge?
 
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IcyMoose

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31 Jul 2020
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Location
London
Any conviction for a criminal offence is a conviction. Unless the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act applies, someone who has pleaded guilty to an offence or been found guilty after a trial should/must declare that, if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a criminal offence.

That is a slightly different question from whether the conviction would be recorded in a database accessed by the police and others if checked. Some bylaw/transport offences aren’t routinely recorded that way, but are still subject to the RoOA system.

(In brief: most employers and organisations can’t ask for/count offences punished by a fine after a year after the conviction but professional bodies and employers in certain areas, including medical professions, are exempt from that limitation so are entitled to be told of all convictions, regardless of how old they are or whether they were recorded in police databases.)

In that sense, all convictions are equally severe and of the same type, in that they have to be disclosed in certain circumstances. The differences in severity lead to differences in sentences, which means the level of fine under the bylaws on public transport. If you accept that the court can take the other alleged occurrences into consideration that could increase the fine, in exchange for TfL not prosecuting you for those additional ones, but still resulting in a conviction for the instance they’ve formally charged you with.
Thanks for breaking that down for me, everything makes sense now! Much appreciated. There is a system within the medical uni to declare convictions so going to do that and they’ll decide whether or not it will impact anything. Cheers again for explaining that so clearly.
 

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