I received a letter today from a train company today. It was very vague giving no specific dates asking me to come in for an interview under caution in regards to ticket irregularities. I am new to working in london (other jobs i have driven to) and after researching am mortified to find out i have been using the wrong ticket and it has now been flagged! Ive never been stopped so had no idea until this letter came through the post and have happily been going to and from work with no issues for nearly 8 months!! I have been having panic attacks and unable to eat or sleep or what to do! Do i attend the interview or will this just incriminate me further? I cant afford legal representation do i just go and apologise profusely and offer to pay the balance? I have no idea if they have the full history of my travel or just recently, should i just be completely honest or let them use the evidence they have? I realise ignorance is no excuse and im so worried i am going to be sent to court and convicted. Ive not got any sort of criminal record or been in trouble before. What sort of advice would you give here? There are so many conflicting opinions online. Some saying to offer to pay what you owe and others saying to not give them any extra information for evidence they dont already have as it will only incriminate you further?? What do i do??
If it's an interview under caution, you can have free legal advice and representation. I'd advise contacting a solicitor who offers criminal legal aid and arranging for them to atrend the interview with you. If it's a potential fraud offence and you genuinely had no idea you were using the wrong ticket, it sounds unlikely that you've committed an offence.
I was using an oyster. I stupidy assumed that i have to buy a ticket for the zone i am working in and travelling to (similar to when you just type in the destination on a ticket machine and it prints the right ticket for that destination). There are no barriers at my home station so ive never even had to tap in to find out this isnt the case. Not eaten today and finding it hard to concentrate at work as all im doing is googling advice!
No seems to me just a zone 1 oyster, so quite a big difference. Surely you must have realised you were paying a fraction of what all your colleagues were.
I would find out if train company have a right to interview you. I would write (or get a solicitor to write) that it was a genuine mistake and include a cheque to settle the full difference. Then see if they take it any further.
I'm really confused. Did you load oyster with cash and use it or did you load a ticket / travel card to it? If you don't touch in it beeps as an error when you try to touch out. So I can see how for your journey home it would flag irregularities but not journey in?
So would you advise going to the interview at least? They obviously have suspicions (or surely they would send me a straight out letter of prosecution) and reading up online, forums say they just want you go go there to give more evidence to help build their case against you, rather than a cosy chat to iron things out. The letter says 'if you do not attend it MAY go to court' Does this mean they are only suspicious and need me to come in to confirm or incriminate myself? Or am I better off attending so I can sort it before it gets to that point?? I'm going to ring citizens advice I think.
That's what I mean. If they have a case, going in and sitting through a horrible interview and saying yes I did it (perfectly happy to admit this as it's true) won't really make a blind bit of difference if they already think I did it? Should I just wait for them to charge me and accept whatever comes my way? I have no migating circumstances and ignorance is not an excuse as we all know, so what else would I need to attend for?