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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71051
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have received a summons to appear before Magistrates Court

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I have received a summons to appear before Magistrates Court for traveling on a London Underground train without having previously paid the fare and with intent to avoid payment thereof. London Underground will be applying for the sum of £130 towards costs incurred. If am to plead guilty and pay any fine amount, will I have a criminal record, or is there any way to avoid getting one e.g. appearing in court and explaining it would damage job potential throughout career.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is this for Regulation 18 of the Railway Bye Laws please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The summons says contrary to S.5(3)(a) of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 as amended by Section 84 (2) of the Transport Act 1962 and Section 18 of the British Railways Act 1970


This is regulation 18 then. That is a criminal matter although it is fair to say that its not a serious criminal matter and one that has no real impact upon your character.

Proceeding on the basis that you cannot deny the allegation made against you, the only other option is to offer an out of court settlement to them. I have to say that I have no idea on what basis they think they can accept them. Criminal matters cannot be settled in this way. However, I know that they are accepting them on occasions and I suppose that if you need to avoid a criminal record then its a good outcome for you.

You will have to offer a fairly high sum - roughly £300 - before they will even look at it. It is possible they will be willing to settle in this way.

It would have been better to make this offer before the summons. You might be too late now. But it would be worth trying.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can you tell me exactly what I should say to offer the out of court settlement - I am prepared to pay any amount/take whatever action to avoid getting a criminal record.


Will appealing in court about this damaging my career opportunities have any effect at all?


Finally can you tell me how long it will take for the criminal record to expire and for me to have a clear record again? Thanks

If you've been summonsed already then there is no point in writing. It will not reach them in time. You will have to phone them if you hope it will be considered. I wouldn't normally recommend that but you don't have an alternative here.

On the face of it, you don't seem to have grounds to appeal in court?

You will be fined for this offence so it will be spent after five years. It will drop off basic checking after five years but not from enhanced until eleven years.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Understood. By appealing I meant attending the court date and asking that the outcome doesn't result in me getting a criminal record even though I admit I am guilty - based on the grounds that it will damage job prospects. Would that not work at all?


I will call them tomorrow to ask about out of court settlement, can you tell me exactly what to say please? I know it's hard to say but do you think a corporation like London Underground will even consider this?

No, I am sorry.

If you are summonsed then the Court cannot avoid a criminal record unless the Crown are willing to drop the case.

Just say you would be wiiling to pay an out of court settlement to avoid going to court. Sometimes they do consider it.
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