Taxi Touting Charges Solicitors
If you are accused of a taxi touting offence, your livelihood could be at stake. Sometimes referred to as plying for hire, touting for business as a private hire taxi driver is illegal and can result in substantial penalties, potentially resulting in a loss of your driving licence.
It will also invalidate your motor insurance, meaning you also risk being convicted of driving without insurance. This also carries substantial penalties, including up to eight points on your licence or disqualification.
A conviction for touting or soliciting for business unlawfully may mean that you are no longer able to work as a taxi driver, that you lose your employment or that your taxi licence is not renewed. If you rely on your driving licence or taxi licence for your job, you are strongly advised to speak to an expert taxi touting lawyer as soon as you can.
Our taxi touting solicitors are experienced in dealing with charges of taxi touting and can put forward a strong defence on your behalf. Having robust representation can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
We will work to identify any issues that may mean the case against you should be dropped. If your case does proceed to court, we will give you the best possible defence, taking into account issues such as where you were when you were accused of the offence and what action you had taken which was construed as plying.
It is for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you have broken the law and we will work to show that this has not been established.
Our expertise in dealing with taxi touting charges includes:
- Advice and representation if you are facing a charge of taxi touting or plying for hire
- Advice and representation if you are facing allegations of running an illegal taxicab operation
- Representation during interviews
- Representation in front of a local authority taxi licensing committee
- Preparing a strong defence on your behalf
- Representation if your case proceeds to court
- Appeals against conviction for taxi touting or plying for hire
Get in touch with our taxi touting charges solicitors
If you have been accused of a taxi touting offence, our expert taxi touting charges solicitors can help. Contact us today and we will provide the representation you need to protect your livelihood.
Navigating this page
- Is taxi touting a criminal offence?
- What is the offence of plying for hire?
- What is the penalty for taxi touting?
Is taxi touting a criminal offence?
Taxi touting is a criminal offence under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Sometimes referred to as pirating or flying, plying for hire in a public place or soliciting individuals to be passengers in your car is a level 4 offence, meaning the penalties should not exceed level 4. This is currently a fine of £2,500.
In addition to being a criminal offence, it is also a breach of the rules of a taxi licence. You may be required to attend a local authority hearing to decide whether your licence will be revoked. The committee members will look at whether they consider you to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence. This is generally decided on the balance of probabilities.
What is the offence of plying for hire?
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 states that it is an offence, in a public place, to solicit persons to be passengers in your vehicle for payment.
A private hire vehicle cannot pick up passengers from the street unless the vehicle has a private hire sign displayed and the passengers have booked them through a licensed operator. You cannot pick up a passenger and ring the operator on their behalf, although you can give a potential passenger the number to call. If they ring it themselves, this can be a defence.
Black cabs can legally pick up passengers, subject to certain restrictions. For example, they may only be entitled to pick up in certain locations and will be breaching the terms of their licence if they operate outside of this.
If a vehicle is not registered as a taxi, it may not display the words ‘cab’ or ‘taxi’ anywhere and picking up passengers is an offence.
The prosecution may use the location of the alleged offence as evidence against you. For example, if you were stopped near a taxi rank or outside of a pub or club, they will say that this indicates that you were touting for business. We may be able to demonstrate that this was not the case if you can show that you had a valid reason for being there.
What is the penalty for taxi touting?
The penalties for plying for hire are a potential fine of up to £2,500 and up to eight points on your licence or disqualification.
You may also face a charge of driving without insurance as taxi touting invalidates insurance. The penalty for this could be an unlimited fine and disqualification from driving.
Certain other factors could be aggravating and result in a more substantial penalty. For example, if this was not your first offence, if you did not have a driving licence or MOT or if it was part of a large scale operation.
If your actions were held to put the public at risk of harm, then this could also attract a higher sentence. For example, if passengers were intentionally directed away from a taxi rank or if you did not have a taxi licence.
You are likely to face expert lawyers if your case goes to court. It may also be that the prosecution tries to establish aggravating factors. If so, you are strongly advised to speak to a solicitor promptly. At Nelson Guest, our taxi touting lawyers routinely defend these types of cases and we will take swift action to put together a strong defence on your behalf.
How our taxi touting charges solicitors can help
Advice and representation if you are facing taxi touting charges
We will go through what has happened with you and establish the strength or weakness of the case against you. If mistakes have been made in putting together the evidence or in the way in which you were singled out, we may be able to ask for the charges against you to be dropped.
Preparing a robust defence to taxi touting charges
If your case goes ahead, we will mount a strong defence, setting out clearly what has happened. For example, if the case is based on your location when you were stopped, we will work to establish why you were there and show that this was lawful.
We can represent you in court and we also provide representation at taxi licence committee hearings, should the local authority consider revoking your taxi licence or applying restrictions.
Taxi touting appeals
If you have been convicted of taxi touting, talk to us about making an appeal. We also deal with appeals against refusal or revocation of taxi licences. There are strict deadlines for making an appeal, so you are strongly advised to speak to us without delay.
We know how important it is to keep both your driving licence and your taxi licence and we will take prompt action to help.
Get in touch with our taxi touting charges solicitors
If you have been accused of a taxi touting offence, our expert taxi touting charges solicitors can advise you. We have extensive experience in defending taxi drivers and a proven track record of success in securing acquittals.
Contact us today and we will provide the representation you need to protect your livelihood.