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Hi, I today was caught travelling in first class carriage on south west trains from waterloo by one of the revenue inspection officers. I had a valid season ticket oyster card ticket for the train but was not valid to be in first class frustrating as only reason i was in there was due to the overcrowding in standard class. in my annoyance at the ticket officer i gave a fake name and address which was pretty stupid as think he will have my oyster card number down so will be able to track me down irregardless. I would much appreciate any of your help on any of the three questions below. 1) Does anyone know about how to go about changing their information on a fine? e.g how to contact them? 2) I am concerned that in my frustration has putting the wrong name down has might lead them to prosecute has anyone else been in the same situation? 3) Does anyone know what the fine will be for being in a first class zone without a first class ticker even if you have a valid standard class ticket?
I have spent the whole day in tears which normally I would solve by meeting up with a friend and talking things through over a bottle of wine but this time I really am too ashamed to tell even my closest friends. Plus they could not provide the same level of advice as the people on this forum. I have spent literally the entire day on these threads and think it's great there are people who are happy to help. What happened to me started rather innocently. I sat in the nearest available seat on a First Capital Connect train From Welwyn North to King's Cross on my way to work one morning in August and didn't worry about it as I had a monthly season ticket. This was the first time I ever encountered a conductor on one of these trains (I had started my job in London in June). They advised me I was sat in first class, although it is quite hard to tell the difference when the train is so packed - that compartment was empty in comparison, but I didn't really see how it was different to the rest of the train. I think I must have sat in those seats on previous occasions also without even realising when the rest of the train got too full. I honestly didn't think about it as I thought I had some sort of a superior ticket covering everything, because £223 is loads! They also advised my ticket only covered standard class travel - obviously not so superior Anyway, I said if that's the case I said I would upgrade and the lady said "that's 20 quid then". For some reason, instead of paying and shutting up, I decided to argue about how unfair the situation is. I got so into the frame of mind that it was "absulutely out of the question to pay £20 to upgrade to first class" - at this point that's what I thought it was, I didn't realise what they were doing was giving me a chance at paying the Penalty Charge. I believed this was so unfair when I spent so much on a monthly ticket and thought I had a right to take a seat on the train, especially as that particular carriage was much emptier than the others with free seats (now I know why... I honestly thought first class restrictions were only for long journeys, not commuter trains). When the conductor requested my details, I completely made up an address - somehow, in my stupid morning brain I thought this was the "fair" thing to do as "I clearly paid" and "did not deserve to be charged more". I am so ashamed now, it was just the pressure of the situation really and wanting to be left alone. I am not sure how I thought they were not going to check it out, but I certainly did not think this was a serious situation. I just thought it would be a bit of a laugh to see how things pan out. If by "a laugh" I mean getting questioned by the British Transport Police upon my arrival at King's Cross station and realising "oops, this is serious, I better give them my real details" then, yes, it was HILARIOUS (( I honestly don't know what was up with me that morning. I am a 26 year old girl, quite lively and generally happy-go-lucky taking things too lightly sometimes, but this was too much. So I provided my real details at that point to a female member if the British Transport Police. Luckily, st least she was sympathetic. She actually said she completely understood why I did it as the prices are ridiculous, but of course this still did not make it ok. What I am really upset about though is that at that stage, the FCC staff assured me that since I had done nothing like this ever in the past, they will not prosecute. Two months later, I am facing prosecution and because I attempted to provide false details, this is being treated as a criminal offence and I am looking at a criminal record, up to £1,000 fine and the maximum penalty can be up to 3 months in prison. Not so funny now. I have just finished my Masters degree and started a dream career in London; however, with what may happen, this could be a short-lived one. I feel so stupid for not realising the seriousness of the situation there and then. I thought along the lines of "I have paid, they can't touch me" and it was this arrogance that made everything worse. I will do my best to settle out of court, but it is serious and they have no reason to agree to that really because, as I have found out now, under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 this is technically fraud. Such a small thing, yet it could mean that I may not be able to get a job with some companies that are strict about the checks they carry out on prospective employees, and if I do get a criminal record, I may never be able to travel to America. I am absolutely gutted and can't believe this has happened to me. Do you guys think there is anything I can do to increase my chances of settling out of court? I have realised the seriousness of doing something like that and would never dream of doing this again. My family come from a country where honesty is a big thing in our culture and in my family and they'd be so disappointed. Also I would like to go to the US one day and I can't imagine not being able to. If anyone knows anything I could do to settle out of court and what a reasonable amount would be to offer, please let me know. I was told today over the phone by the Prosecution Department that I should send this in writing asap. Any help is much appreciated and I am honestly really sorry about what I did.