Today I received a letter from TFL after I was caught using my brothers 16+ oyster card in March 2019.
It does not state the offence I have committed but states that the facts are being considered and legal proceedings may be taken against me in accordance with the TFL prosecution policy.
The letter provides me with two options stating that I can choose whether to deny committing the offence or accept committing the offence (but must provide exceptional reasons for TFL to not decide in proceeding with a prosecution).
This was a massive error of judgement on my behalf and I deeply regret my actions.
To provide some background as to why I used the oyster card, I am the sole income earner for my family and I am required to support my mother (who is not physically capable to work).
As such, I have to make a large contribution in rental costs and living costs for myself, my mother and my three younger brothers (of whom none are at working age).
I started my first job after university five months ago and I stupidly decided to purchase a travel card under my younger brother's 16+ oyster card (which is half price compared to the adult rate). In total, I have calculated the fares evaded to be roughly £600 over a five month period.
I understand that this does not excuse my actions and I should not have attempted to fare evade under any circumstances.
I also appreciate the fact that fare evading over a period of 5 months is a matter that will be taken seriously and I think it is better for me to be honest in the letter.
If TFL decide to take this matter to court, a criminal conviction would have a severe impact on my career prospects as I am seeking to gain entry into the legal profession in a couple of years (having already completed two law degrees). As such, a criminal conviction would have a disastrous effect on my future prospects and I hope to settle this matter out of court.
What approach should I take in the first letter to TFL?
Is the best approach to admit what I have done, explain my mitigating circumstances and offer to compensate TFL for the fares evaded and offer to pay admin costs on top?