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Taxi Touting/Plying for Hire
If you have been accused of a taxi touting offence, otherwise known as plying for hire, the expert solicitors at JMW are here to assist with your defence and to help you avoid a conviction. The consequences of being found guilty for touting or soliciting can often be severe, and could impact your livelihood. However, our team is highly experienced in this often complex area of law and can help you secure the outcome you are after.
For more information about how our team can assist you in your taxi touting case, get in touch today. Simply call us on 0800 804 8159 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you at a convenient time.
Private hire vehicles, Hackneys and any other form of 'taxi' must be licensed in order to be legally hired to carry passengers. Unlicensed vehicles will be committing a criminal offence if they do any of the following:
'Soliciting' people to hire vehicles to transport them as a passenger in a public place
Displaying the word 'taxi', 'cab' or 'hire' anywhere on their vehicle
This equally applies to many classes of vehicles such as cars, vans and even pedicabs. Registered private hire vehicles are not permitted to collect fee paying passengers from the 'street' unless they are displaying a private hire sign and have been booked through a licensed operator prior to undertaking the hired journey. Hackney carriages are, however, permitted to collect passengers from a public place without the need for a prior booking.
If you have been accused of plying for hire or touting, not only will you face a possible Level 4 fine of anything up to £2,500, you may also face prosecution for driving without insurance because touting can invalidate your existing motor insurance policy. The offence of driving without insurance carries a penalty of between six and eight points on your licence. The court could also disqualify you from driving for any period it deems appropriate.
If you have been charged with a touting offence, the court will consider the circumstances and interpret the facts in order to determine whether your actions amount to touting/soliciting or plying for hire.
We have found that driving disqualifications as a result of touting or soliciting are becoming more and more frequent, particularly in circumstances where a person has appeared at court unrepresented. The consequences of a conviction for touting or soliciting can quite often be severe for those who drive taxis or private hire vehicles for a living, and so expert legal assistance is essential.
A conviction for touting or soliciting could cause problems with regard to continuing your employment as a taxi or hackney carriage driver, and it could also affect any future application for the renewal of your taxi licence. JMW has great experience in dealing with the licensing authority in circumstances where, as a taxi driver, your livelihood is at risk.
The full and proper consideration of the evidence and the way in which your case is presented to the court is key. Our involvement could help save your livelihood. We take a professional and proactive approach to every case we take on and will keep you updated throughout the process, giving you peace of mind that everything is being properly taken care of.
Partner and Head of Department
Business Crime, Regulation & Driving Offences