Fare evasion is theft of services and its a crime. If you are convicted of a crime, it will go into your permanent public record. I suggest you hire an attorney and fight the charge and see if it can be reduced to a non-criminal offense.
Fare Evasion is a Class A misdemeanor and pleading guilty to it would give you a criminal record for life. I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense. Please feel free to check out my web site and contact me if you wish to retain counsel. I can probably negotiate something that will lead to the case being dismissed and sealed.
If you plead guilty, you will be pleading to a class "A" misdemeanor and you will have a criminal record. You don't say if you have a prior criminal record. If you don't, there is a good chance of getting the charge lowered to disorderly conduct or possibly even an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which means the case would be dismissed after six months if you do not get re-arrested. In either of these two cases, you would not be left with a criminal record.
Please feel free to contact me if you are looking to retain an attorney to represent you in court.