Two persons sqeeze through a pay turnstile. Cops issue two summones. Right or wrong?

Yesterday I met a guy at a bar who told me his tale of woe.

On his way into Manhattan with his girlfriend, they both squeezed through a subway turnstile, paying only one fare in the process. The pair was nailed by a trio of undercover cops who issued them each a summons (at $50+ per, btw).

This struck me as wrong. Sure, a crime was committed (theft of service, I assume), but how could that apply to both of them? After all, one fare was paid in full. IMO, that should protect one of them from a fine. (Which one, of course, is a tough call. The cops would need to be somewhat arbitrary, I suppose, in choosing the summons recipient. If it were up to me, I’d simply say the person who is in front is the fare-payer, and the squeeze-behinder is the fare-evader.)

When I asked the guy why they gave them two tickets, he speculated that since they were both “accomplices” in the crime, they both got written up.

I dunno. It still stinks to me – but I’m no cop or lawyer (or criminal). So I thought I’d throw it out to the more learned types here on the SDMB. Were the cops correct? Would/should a judge throw out one of the tickets if they use my argument? How does the law treat a case like this?

Akk! I meant to post this in GQ, not IMHO.

(But maybe it belongs here after all. I’ll leave it up to a mod to decide.)

I don’t know about legal matters, but it seems to me not too unlike students who turn in the same paper. Ok, so one student did the work, but if she allowed the other to copy, she’s implicit in the plagiarism.

Both of them tried to cheat the system. Both of them should be punished.

If they both colluded to illegally get two for the price of one, they’re both guilty.

If one person was just passing thru honestly, and suddenly the other person forced their way thru on the first one’s coin, then only the other person should be held responsible

I’ve had this happen to me several times, I’d put my money in a newspaper dispenser and someone standing next to it would try to grab a paper when I lifted the lid. At least once I slammed the lid as a guy was reaching, but several have gotten the papers and either just walked away, or starred me down. It ticked me off, but I didn’t think it was worth making a big fuss over.
In the case of the OP, it’s small, but it’s still conspiracy.

You could look at it as each person attempted to cheat the system by only paying half the fare.

Kinda like the guy who drives the getaway car at a robbery. If he knowingly partakes in the commission of a crime, he’s just as guilty.

Call them A and B. They squeeze through. The cops summons A. A shows up in court, and says, “No, Yer Honor, it’s my farecard. It’s that stranger who squeezed through with me who was breaking the law.” Is A likely to be able to get away with that? Would B, in this case, get away with it? If you summons both, your bases are covered. It’s not like anyone’s been convicted of anything yet.