TV licence payment evasion (Revised 2017)

Communications act 2003, s.363
Effective from: 24 April 2017

Triable only summarily:
Maximum: Level 3 fine
Offence range: Band A fine – Band B fine

User guide for this offence


Step 1 – Determining the offence category

The Court should determine the offence category using the table below.

Category 1      Higher culpability and greater harm

Category 2      Higher culpability and lesser harm or lower culpability and greater harm

Category 3      Lower culpability and lesser harm

The court should determine the offender’s culpability and the harm caused with reference only to the factors below. Where an offence does not fall squarely into a category, individual factors may require a degree of weighting before making an overall assessment and determining the appropriate offence category.

CULPABILITY demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factors indicating higher culpability

  • No attempt to obtain TV Licence
  • Had additional subscription television service
  • Attempts made to evade detection

Factors indicating lower culpability

  • Accidental oversight or belief licence held (eg failure of financial arrangement)
  • Confusion of responsibility
  • Licence immediately obtained
  • Significant efforts made to be licensed

 HARM demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factor indicating greater harm

  • Prolonged period without TV licence (over 6 months unlicensed use)

Factors indicating lesser harm

  • Short period without television licence (under 6 months unlicensed use)