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Wriggler is spot-on of course.

 

The Courts are often quite happy to see some cases resolved in this way and refer to the process as an 'administrative penalty' or, settled by 'mitigated costs'. It reduces the pressure on overloaded Magistrates Courts, but cannot be relied upon as a means of avoiding prosecution at the last minute in every case.

 

If the prosecutor is under instruction by the TOC to ensure conviction in serious cases it is unlikely to change, but in other matters, where there is no previous record, if you follow Wrigglers advice, you may be allowed to settle and preserve your good name.

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Hi all,

 

I am posting on behalf of my dad, who was caught using my 18+ photocard today when travelling to Kings Cross. I have read many of the previous posts and understand that a heavy fine and a court summon may ensue this incident.

 

What happened was that he need to get to Kings Cross and was looking for his oyster card this morning. So to save him the trouble I gave him my card thinking it was the recently expired one (which then becomes a normal adult rated card) because it had some cash (~4.50 pounds) left over in it so he didnt need to bother topping-up his own, when in fact what I've given him was my current photocard. Both cards were in my bag because it only expired 2 weeks ago and I forgot to remove it, which I now realise is a very stupid thing to have done:-(

 

Naturally the story proceeds that he was asked to show his card by an inspector and he just told them it was a mistake and that he didn't realise it was my card he was using. And because he thought I would get into trouble for this he didn't mention the fact that I was the one who mistakenly gave him the wrong card, just that he took the wrong card. I think the officers heard enough 'mistaken card' 'in a hurry excuses and didnt believe him at all. They took my card, and he didn't have another valid oyster card on him, does this make the matter worse because it would look like he intended to use my card all the way.

 

My question is, shall my dad stick to his version or shall I pen a letter also in response to the letter that will follow (He should only respond AFTER the letter is received, correct?)? Will they give some credit for that or will they deem it suspicious that the story had changed? It was a genuine mistake on my behalf and I am very depressed that my dad had to go through the whole embarrassing process of being interrogated by the Revenue Officers.

 

The ideal thing is to avoid any court appearance because he doesn't want a criminal record that may affect him current job, will his company be informed of this? Will it affect his future employments? What are the chances that he avoids a prosecution and what is the 2010 rate of fine+adminstrative penalty etc. (sorry I didn't finish reading the whole thread, don't know id the conditions have changed this year)?

 

Thank you in advance for any help and advice, I really really appreciate it!!!!!!

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Hi Fren,

 

To be honest I'd keep it the way it is, as it'll more than likely look like you're simply making excuses if you send a letter. Mistakes do happen, and depending of what was said under caution it might not be as bad as you or he thinks it'll be. The best thing to do will be wait for TfL's letter to arrive and respond accordingly. If your Dad wants the matter to stay out of court, he needs to request that he pays all reasonable admin costs in order for this not to go any further. TfL are not obliged to accept this offer, but if he offers and they refuse, at least he can say he tried! He also needs to explain that this was the first time he had made such a mistake (assuming it was!).

 

If the matter does go to court and he is found guilty of an offence, nobody will tell his employer. That is his responsibility. For the record, his job would have to be that of one that requires stringent security clearance for him to lose his job from what I gather!

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Hiya,

 

I only speak from my own experience when I was caught. When I received the letter from TFL i wrote back a handwritten response on the back of the same letter to explain how and why was i using the wrong travel card (a friend's freedom pass).

What happened in your case sounds genuine and an easy mistake to make. The letter from TFL will be sent to your dad so he's gonna be asked to reply within a certain time otherwise court proceeding will start. So my (not expert just experienced) advice is for him to write to TFL exactly how it happened because it is the truth and it will not get any of you into any trouble but will help TFL to see that it was REALLY just a mistake. Admit to the wrong-doing because really he should've doublechecked the validity, etc of the card he was about to use instead of his oyster. Am really not sure whether they compare notes of what your dad said when he was caught with what is being said in his letter after, but in my understanding, there isn't such a big difference in the two stories (or shape it like that.....)

After explaining in the letter the mistake made, express how sorry he is, indicating that he did have an oyster card paid for and/or point out that he never had any intention travelling without paying for it. What is also being taken into account (and the ticket inspector makes note of this too), is that how co-operative someone is when being caught, whether they act aggressively, eg. foul language, threatening behaviour and whether or not they admit being guilty (admitting is better).

Indicate just how deteriorating would it be for him if he had to go through court and offer to pay any costs in order to avoid going to court. Then hope for the bests.....

In my case I got a reply in 2-3 weeks time - they let me off with a slap on the wrist. If i am to re-offened, it would be straight to court and would have to own up to both offences accordingly.

Hope it all helps! Good luck!

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Thank you Stigy and katapigeon,

 

Both of your advice are extremely helpful to me, I really appreciate it. We are going to wait for their letter and decide how to respond depending on what they say. katapigeon your experience is very encouraging to hear, I'm glad you were able to settle it of of court, hopefully TFL will be more lenient on my dad taking into consideration that he was cooperative and it was his first time.

 

Stigy I understand that his experience may be a little complicated to explain in a letter, and does come across sounding he is making excuses to an extent. However, I am worried that if he keep it the way it was described at the time, it wouldn't make a convincing enough arguement?

 

Also, I just have one other query. It just occured to me, even though my old 18+ photocard had expired, am still allowed to give it to someone else to use? Because it is my card after all, despite that it has become a standard adult rated Oyster. I don't want to complicate matters further if its going to incriminate him even more by telling them the truth:-(

 

Thanks again and I appreciate any comments and advice!!!!

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Also, I just have one other query. It just occured to me, even though my old 18+ photocard had expired, am still allowed to give it to someone else to use? Because it is my card after all, despite that it has become a standard adult rated Oyster. I don't want to complicate matters further if its going to incriminate him even more by telling them the truth:-(

 

Thanks again and I appreciate any comments and advice!!!!

If it was just a standard Oyster Card that's not registered to anyone, then I'd imagine the same rules apply as to the transferance of tickets, and as such it is an offence. Trouble is, as with the tranferance of rail tickets, unless you actually get spotted handing it to somebody (at a train station or something), then how do the staff know it's not actually your card/ticket?

 

It's a bit different in your case though, as I believe your photo is on the card, is it not? This alone means it should not be used by anybody other than you, regardless of how you're using it, for obvious reasons. Bear in mind though that an Oyster Card isn't a ticket in itself, but a method of carrying prepay credit, unless it has a travelcard on it.

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Oyster is slightly different in some ways. Oysters are a smartcard that can carry more than one product.

 

Unlike the general rule that 'tickets are non-transfereable' there is a specific entitlement to do exactly that with a straightforward Pay-as-you Go Oyster.

 

Although a whole range of products can be carried, there are two basic rules that can be relied on.

 

1. The basic PAYG Oyster is just a card that carries credit to pay a fare in a single 'slot' on the card and with no other product held on it. You can pass that around your friends and family with impunity.

 

2. As soon as any Oyster has a photograph as a component it cannot be loaned to anyone else. It is restricted to use by the person depicted on the card.

 

Your Oyster with photo identity cannot be used by your friend. It has a photograph included to ensure that revenue staff can check it is being used only by the rightful holder.

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Oyster is slightly different in some ways. Oysters are a smartcard that can carry more than one product.

 

Unlike the general rule that 'tickets are non-transfereable' there is a specific entitlement to do exactly that with a straightforward Pay-as-you Go Oyster.

 

Although a whole range of products can be carried, there are two basic rules that can be relied on.

 

1. The basic PAYG Oyster is just a card that carries credit to pay a fare in a single 'slot' on the card and with no other product held on it. You can pass that around your friends and family with impunity.

 

2. As soon as any Oyster has a photograph as a component it cannot be loaned to anyone else. It is restricted to use by the person depicted on the card.

 

Your Oyster with photo identity cannot be used by your friend. It has a photograph included to ensure that revenue staff can check it is being used only by the rightful holder.

Can I get half a point please? lol.
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It is unfair that an expired discount 18+oystercard cannot be used for payg by other than the named person.There is no discount at this time and therefore single journeys should be allowed.In the same way,it caps at an all day travelcard,just like an ordinary oyster.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Underground and everyone:

 

Thanks for your explanation so clearly. I feel it's really helpful and less panic in this same situation. However, my questions is I use sb's student oyster because mine is just expired. I knew this is so wrong because the burden is far more than the fine itself. my situation is I just got the 1st london underground letter today, and I will reply and admitted I am wrong and will to pay the fine as your advice. However, My student visa will be expired in the beginning of the next year, and I may not stay at UK after finishing my study. My question is should I mention this situation in the replying letter? or should I call them to explain? or I should wait until LU prosecute me and then ask them to set out of the court? I know I really need to take responsible for it, but It's less likely for me to get letters when I moved out, let alone plead guilty and pay the fine. So, could you please give me some advice?

 

Thank you very much !!!!

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It is unfair that an expired discount 18+oystercard cannot be used for payg by other than the named person.There is no discount at this time and therefore single journeys should be allowed.In the same way,it caps at an all day travelcard,just like an ordinary oyster.

 

I fully agree with you because at the end of my undergrad degree I have accumulated 3 identical 18+ student photocards, all lying in the drawer (with the final exception being in my bag, as how the tragic incident occured) with me not being able to use them for anything since I just obtained my FOURTH card (this time costing 10 pounds instead of 5 like the other ones).

 

I can see why nobody else should be able to use them because it has my photo on it, but it is useless for me to have 3 identical cards and having to pay for each and everyone of them, instead of just letting me renew my card online. I'm sure the universities can verify people's attendence easily without the administering of an extra card every year. What happened to being green??

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Out of pure curiosity, from the many threads that I have read on this forum and elsewhere, is it correct for me to assume that it is more likely for a person to reach out of court settlements with rail companies than with the London Underground? I have seen very few successful examples for oyster card breaches.

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The short answer is 'I don't know'. But, a lot of what you call 'Oyster card breaches' involve the misuse of 'London Borough Freedom passes' which are now issued on Oyster cards. If I was prosecuting such stuff, I would be inclined to take a 'firm line', as the loser in that type of offence is the Council Tax payers of the Boroughs, not just a faceless shareholder of an international transport firm.

I think that there is a clear distinction between someone using their own Oyster card, who simply didn't 'tap in' at Elm Park and did 'tap out' at Dagenham East, (and thereby got charged a full default fare, effectively already being 'punished) and the person who swipes his grannies card whilst she never gets out anyway due to age & infirmity. I rather guess (and it is just a guess) that the vast majority of not using Oysters correctly are simply dealt with by the system itself, charging maximum fares.

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The short answer is 'I don't know'. But, a lot of what you call 'Oyster card breaches' involve the misuse of 'London Borough Freedom passes' which are now issued on Oyster cards. If I was prosecuting such stuff, I would be inclined to take a 'firm line', as the loser in that type of offence is the Council Tax payers of the Boroughs, not just a faceless shareholder of an international transport firm.

I think that there is a clear distinction between someone using their own Oyster card, who simply didn't 'tap in' at Elm Park and did 'tap out' at Dagenham East, (and thereby got charged a full default fare, effectively already being 'punished) and the person who swipes his grannies card whilst she never gets out anyway due to age & infirmity. I rather guess (and it is just a guess) that the vast majority of not using Oysters correctly are simply dealt with by the system itself, charging maximum fares.

 

I think that you are absolutely right and when LUL get to the final stage it is because the case is a serious matter that warrants prosecution.

 

TfL has a robust prosecution policy document by which prosecutors work and there are many opportunities for a report to fall by the wayside enroute to issue of a Summons. If it has got that far it is very likely to make the final hurdle with ease.

 

.

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UNDERGROUND, OLD-CODJA , WRIGGLER 7, ROSA, KATAPIGEON, EVERYBODY, PLEASE HELP!!!

 

 

 

I got caught for using my aunt's freedom pass by one of their inspectors. When the inspector stopped me, I didn't at first realise it was an inspector and continued walking muttering I was in a hurry. D next split second, I realised, threw the Freedom pass in my handbag and started rummaging for my student oyster card, (now expired) inside. I eventually brought it out, the inspector collected and requested to see the one I threw inside the bag and I knew game was up. One of the ticket officers even radioed for cameras to be focused on me like I was some sort of criminal.

Anyway, the inspector asked for my name and I gave a false name though closely resembles the name on my oyster card and the correct address as I knew the oyster card will show the address anyway. The freedom pass was seized and after the inspector finished writing a statement, cautioned me.

I asked another inspector what that meant and he advised I should wait to hear from TFL.

I am at a loss here. I've been out of work for nearly 5mths and was it was my second day at my new job and I was in an awful hurry as I did not want to be late.

I remember mentioning this to the inspector but I was ignored.

Does anyone know what will happen to me? I've read almost all the threads and realise that carrying the freedom pass is a criminal offence. Please help I am a nervous wreck. Can't eat nor sleep.

Please no one should insult me. I know I was wrong and all I need is advice.

Can they get a record of all the journeys on the freedom pass?

I was so confused that I forgot to top up my oyster and when I came out at my destination in Zone 1, I had a negative balance. Apparently, I had just 1.70 on the card which was not enough to cover my travel. Will I get a criminal record? Can I deny this?

 

Please help!!!!

 

 

KATAPIGEON, what did you tell them that made them leave you?

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I'm not going to condem your actions further than you probably already have yourself, but in truth, I cannot offer a great deal of hope that you will not face prosecution either and I think we do need to make clear how seriously this is viewed.

 

Using someone else's Freedom Pass rather than paying your fare is one of the more serious abuses of Oyster that TfL target and you will have realised that giving a false name just makes matters worse. You will also have the knowledge that your aunt has lost her Freedom Pass and if she admits giving it to you to use, she may well not get another easily. If you say you took it without her knowledge, that underpins your intention to avoid a fare and will not help you either way I'm afraid.

 

Yes, they can get a record of past journeys from the card number. The Oyster monitoring system means that the past 8 weeks journey record is available at immediately and will be made available to the prosecutor's department on their request.

 

The question of whether you will get a criminal record or not depends on whether TfL do press charges and so far as 'Can I deny this' is concerned, I really don't think there is much point from what I have read in your posting.

 

You say that you gave your correct address because 'they could get that from the Oyster', I assume that your correct name is registered to that Student Oyster and if, as you say, you gave a false name that 'closely resembles' your correct name, it will not take a lot of work to make the connection.

 

In my opinion, the best thing that you can do is stop fretting and wait for the verification letter to arrive at your address from TfL and then write a grovelling apology, stress hardship through being unemployed for several months and make a plea for leniency using the kind of letter that I have suggested in other threads.

 

I have to say that I don't offer any great hope of success because of the serious way misuse of Freedom Passes is viewed, but you may get lucky and in honesty, being truthful and fully co-operative from now on is your only hope of mitigating the rashness of your actions.

 

I am sorry that is not more encouraging, but I hope that you understand that the best thing you can do for the time being is to try to stop worrying and wait for the letter.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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Thank you very much Old-CodJA. I appreciate your response and advise. But still worried as I am a visa national and have to apply for extension to remain shortly. Will the home office find out? Will it affect my chances?

I am no longer registered at that address as I moved out but I completely forgot to change the oyster card address.

What do u think? Will this condemn me further?

 

Please help!!!

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Whilst you wait for this matter to develop, try to keep some perspective. You haven't murdered anyone, (Have you?:|) or set fire to one of Her Majesties Dockyards. Whilst Old Codja is right to say that this looks like one of the more serios misuses of an Oyster, in the grand scheme of things, it is still at a low level of criminality. The 'punishments' for fare evasion are lower than those for shoplifting and so on.

The 'railway' will not be telling the Home Office, you may have to, at an appropriate time, and as the matter could, eventually, end up in open Court, it can be discovered by 'other people'.

 

But: everyday, there are people who do much worse things, and I doubt if any friends will be nearly as shocked and distressed as you are. Patience is a virtue! (Or, if you are a private Doctor, patients are an asset.)

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Oddsisi- don't take this the wrong way, but:

 

1- You were caught intentionally using your Aunt's Oyster;

2- You (by walking away) attempted to avoid a ticket inspection?

3- You then presented a ticket that hadn't been used, or was expired?

4- You then offered a false (legally?) name?

 

On edit: ignore! -Read Old Cod's post. Made the fatal mistake of not following thread through

Edited by Grotesque
Too quick off the mark
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,

 

A friend of mine is not much into computers and asked me to help him.

 

He was caught using his father's Freedom pass by the Underground inpsector at King Cross tube station. I have read all your threads and breif him. As you advised to all others, he is also waiting for the first letter from the underground prosecution team.

 

1- Any rough idea what is the expected time to receive the first letter from the undergound prosecution team?

 

2- My friend is on indefinite leave to remain in the UK and now has to apply for the UK nationality. In the worst case of misuse of freedom pass, he may end up with the court conviction. That means he can not apply for nationality for the next 5 years. Average nationality processing time is 3 months. Would you suggest him to apply for the nationaliaty now as he is not charged with any convicton now, and hope that he will get it done before the court prosecution? Or would you suggest to solve the matter with the the underground and hope for the best that he can settle it out of the court, and then apply for the nationality?

 

Please hellp!!!!!!!

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1. It all depends on how quickly the report is put to TfL's prosecutions team, and how busy they are. Could take 6-8 weeks at an educated guess.

 

2. Depends really, it might not go to court if your friend decides to offer TfL their reasonable admin costs to settle out of court, and TfL accepts. Can't see any harm getting the ball rolling regarding UK citizenship now, although I wouldn't know how long this typically takes to sort out.

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Thank you Stiggy for your reply.

 

My friend will follow all the advises on this forum. But he is also preparing for the worst case

 

Any idea, how long it takes from First letter from Underground Prosecution team to the Court summons/decision.

 

Old-CodJA, I need your advises as well? ( this and my previous post).

 

Thanks.

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Hello,

 

A friend of mine is not much into computers and asked me to help him.

 

He was caught using his father's Freedom pass by the Underground inpsector at King Cross tube station. I have read all your threads and breif him. As you advised to all others, he is also waiting for the first letter from the underground prosecution team.

 

1- Any rough idea what is the expected time to receive the first letter from the undergound prosecution team?

 

2- My friend is on indefinite leave to remain in the UK and now has to apply for the UK nationality. In the worst case of misuse of freedom pass, he may end up with the court conviction. That means he can not apply for nationality for the next 5 years. Average nationality processing time is 3 months. Would you suggest him to apply for the nationaliaty now as he is not charged with any convicton now, and hope that he will get it done before the court prosecution? Or would you suggest to solve the matter with the the underground and hope for the best that he can settle it out of the court, and then apply for the nationality?

 

Please hellp!!!!!!!

 

I think Stigy has given excellent advise, it might be as well to get the application for nationality started as soon as possible if that's what he wants in the long run.

 

Typically, it can take up to two months for the first letter to arrive if the prosecution department is very busy and if they decide to proceed to prosecution, they have 6 months in which to lay the information (charge) with a Court

 

Once he receives a letter from TfL writing a very apologetic letter asking if he might be allowed to settle the matter without troubling a Court and offering to pay all of the reasonable costs incurred, plus the unpaid fare is a very good idea.

 

TfL do consider the misuse of Freedom passes to be a very serious matter and are not often minded to settle these cases, but you never know and unless your friend asks politely to be allowed to settle, there is every likelihood that a Summons will be issued.

 

.

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PLEASE HELP!!!

 

Hi, I've been reading through these posts for the last two days and can see how helpful Underground and OldCodja have been.

 

My case is pretty unique as I have not found a single article relating to my situation on the web. I used to be a Transport Commisoner for Westminster and worked closely with TFL. I have many oyster cards, some given as for promotion some given to me by the companies I work for/with. One day I went about my usual business, picked an oyster card to take with me and headed to my local station. I used an automated machine, topped up £4.00 and touched in at the gates. When I arrived at my destination and touched out my card read " seek assistance" The gaurd at the gates was about to let me through but I wanted to know what was wrong with my card so he pointed me in the direction of one of the inspectors on duty. I was then told my card was a cancelled card and could not be used. Anyway, after a little while I received a court summons.

 

I had found out the card I was using was an old work card that the company had reported as lost once I left my job. From my own knowledge while working with TFL I as most of my collegues did that a cancelled oyster can be topped up and touched in, but onced touched out would eliminate all funds on the card.

 

A solicitor advised me to obtain this in writing. My first call to oyster validated what I already knew, however no one was willing to put this in writing. After more calls and speaking to someone higher up I was told I would not get this in writing as it highlighted a massive flaw in the oyster system.

 

I am completly at a lose. I know I have done nothing wrong, but am being prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Please can anyone reccomend what course of action to take?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3206 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

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