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Notice of Intended Prosecution
If you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and are unsure what to do next, we can advise you about your options and whether you have a defence – contact us today on 0115 910 6239. We are experts in this area with a 96.7 percentage rate of successful challenges.
If there is not a defence, or the NIP cannot be challenged, we will also advise you as to any relevant mitigating circumstances which may help your case and keep any penalties to a minimum.
If you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution you are required to identify the driver of the vehicle. You must do this within 28 days.
If you fail to do so, you have committed a further offence. This will result in your licence being endorsed with 6 penalty points and a fine up of £1,000 imposed. That is unless you can show that it is impossible to comply despite your best reasonable and diligent enquiries to establish the driver’s identity.
Once the Police have identified the driver, they will clarify their intended course of action, whether it be a driver training course, a Fixed Penalty or Court Summons / Requisition. The Police have 6 months to progress a case.
If you would prefer us to deal with the NIP and paperwork that you have received, we would be happy to do so.
Notice of Intended Prosecution – FREE Initial Advice
There are often intricate legal issues so if you receive an NIP or a s.172 request to identify a driver, call us now on 0115 910 6239
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What is a Notice of Intended Prosecution?
A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is sent to inform a potential defendant that they may have committed a driving offence for which they may be prosecuted for.
The main purpose of any NIP is to help identify the person who was driving a vehicle at the time when any alleged offence was committed.
A NIP is not a punishment in itself. At the same time, completing and submitting a NIP is not an admission of guilt. The purpose of a NIP is to gather evidence.
However, failure to provide a response to a NIP can incur a fine of up to £1000, six penalty points on your driving licence, and/or disqualification from driving.
Meanwhile, supplying incorrect information could carry a prison sentence.
Receiving a NIP does not necessarily mean that you will face prosecution. It only acts as a warning that you may face prosecution. However, failure to treat a NIP seriously can result in more serious convictions.
What driving offences are Notice of Intended Prosecution used for?
Notice of Intended Prosecutions are issued by the police. The police will issue a NIP either verbally after a vehicle has been stopped, or by posts within 14 days of the alleged offence.
A range of traffic offences could cause a NIP to be issued. These include:
- careless driving
- dangerous driving
- use of a mobile phone while driving
- failing to conform with a traffic signal
I’ve received a Notice of Intended Prosecution, what should I do next?
A Notice of Intended Prosecution is an official notice from the police to tell you that an incident has been reported and that you may be prosecuted.
You will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution if you are the registered keeper of the vehicle. This is deemed as the person listed by the DVLA.
Note: If a NIP is delivered to an old address you lived at because your details were incorrect at the DVLA, it will still be deemed served. This is because it is your responsibility to keep the DVLA up-to-date with your contact details and the addresses your vehicles are registered at.
Only the person named on the NIP should complete the form. That means, for example, if you received the NIP but someone else was driving, you should not forward the form to the driver to complete.
When you receive a NIP, you should check that your name, address and date of birth are correct. If they are not, then you should correct them in your reply.
A NIP will come with a Request for Driver Information (section 172 Notice). This places a legal obligation on the person named on the NIP to provide details of the driver at the time of the offence.
If you were not the driver at the time of the offence, then you should provide the details of the driver that was. They will be sent a new NIP in their name.
You have a legal obligation to supply the information requested within 28 days of receiving the NIP. If you do not, or you are late in supplying the information, you can be charged with the offence of failure to furnish driver information. This offence and incur six penalty points and up to a £1000 fine.
What would make a NIP invalid?
When receiving a NIP, one of the first things you should check is whether it has been delivered within 14 days after the offence was committed. This is because if it has been delivered more than 14 days after would invalidate any NIP.
The invalidation of any NIP is a point that can only be argued in Court. By not completing an invalid NIP, you could still be charged for not providing driver details.
If you believe your NIP is invalid, contact our solicitors now to discuss what your options are.
I wasn’t driving the car at the time, what should I do?
With a NIP you will receive a Section 172 Notice for a request for driver information.
If you were not driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, then you will have to provide the details of who the driver was at the time of the offence.
A time limit does apply when replying to a NIP. They must be submitted within 28 days of the date you received the NIP.
What should I do if I don’t know who was driving at the time of the offence?
Surprisingly, this happens more often than you may think.
For example, the offence may have occurred during a long journey with multiple people taking it in turns to drive and there is no recollection of who was driving at the time. Or a work vehicle was being driven and no log remains to record who was driving the vehicle.
Another instance could be that your car has been cloned. Cloning is when another vehicle uses the same number plate as your vehicle. Usually, this is to avoid paying fines, insurance or engage in criminal activity.
If you are unsure who was driving at the time of the offence, contact our solicitors for legal advice on what actions you should take.
What if I used false information about who was driving?
If you already have points on your licence, it may be tempting to ask a friend or partner to take the points.
This decision is usually taken because people involved think it is low risk and there will be no repercussions. However, this is an incredibly serious offence and if caught you can be charged with perverting the course of justice.
Being found guilty of perverting the course of justice can lead to a prison sentence. 12-month prison sentences are routinely imposed by the CPS for perverting the course of justice in cases where somebody has taken penalty points for somebody else.
What happens if you ignore a Notice of Intended Prosecution?
You have a legal obligation to respond to a NIP received in your name within the 28-day time limit.
If you fail to respond to the Notice, you will be referred to the Magistrates’ Courts for failure to provide the information, as well as for the original offence.
Once at the Courts, the offence can incur a fine of up to £1000, six penalty points and/or a disqualification from driving.
What is the difference between a Notice of Intended Prosecution and a Fixed Penalty Notice?
A Notice of Intended Prosecution is a document sent out to the registered keeper of a vehicle, or the known driver of a vehicle, that they may be prosecuted for a driving offence.
It is sent out with a request for driver information. The purpose is to make the defendant aware of potential prosecution and to help the police gather relevant information.
In comparison, a Fixed Penalty Notice is an alternative to prosecution before a Magistrates’ Court. It is usually a financial fine and may also carry penalty points too.