Notice of Intended Prosecution – What Happens Next?
Have you just received a notice for speeding and feeling a bit lost about what to do? You are not alone. Each month, over 130,000 people visit our site for help with fines and parking tickets.
In this easy-to-read guide, we’ll explore:
- What a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is
- The reasons you might get a NIP
- How long you have to answer a NIP
- What to do if you were not driving when the offence happened
- Steps to take if you want to appeal
We know that getting a fine can be stressful and confusing. But don’t worry, we are here to help you understand the process and your choices.
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Why would I get a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the police?
As stated, you could get flagged for a speeding offence. Other motoring offences in the UK that you could get a NIP for include the following:
- Running a red traffic light
- Dangerous or careless driving
- Breaking traffic laws
How long do the police have to issue a NIP?
The police must serve the registered keeper with the notice within 14 days of the alleged offence being committed under the UK road traffic rules.
What happens when I get a NIP later than 14 days after the alleged offence?
According to UK law, the police must issue the NIP within 14 days of committing an alleged traffic violation. When you get it after the 14 days expire, the police cannot prosecute the driver.
But there are exceptions to this rule. In short, you may still be prosecuted for the driving offence even when the notice arrives after the 14 days are up!
For example, you were driving a hire car, and the company was notified within 14 days. The police complied with their legal requirement, and therefore as the driver, you could be prosecuted for the driving offence.
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How long do I have to respond to a NIP?
You must respond to a Notice of Intended Prosecution within 28 days of receiving it. Even when you weren’t the driver, you must provide the police with the driver’s details.
You could face prosecution when you fail to respond and provide all the required information. You may get six penalty points on your licence and a £1000 fine when you don’t give the police the driver’s details!
Can the police give me a NIP verbally?
Yes. The police could give you a verbal NIP if they stop you from committing a traffic offence. In short, you won’t get a notice through the mail because the police already told you about a potential prosecution.
When the police give you a NIP in the form of a verbal warning, you could get a fixed penalty notice and a fine. In short, the police could decide to issue a Single Justice Procedure Notice.
Depending on how fast you were driving and your past driving record, you may be offered the opportunity to take a speed awareness course rather than have points on your license. The driver awareness course costs around the same cost as a fine but avoids the points and your insurance premiums being increased.
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I got a NIP for speeding. What should I do?
You can either respond with a guilty plea and accept the points and fine or reply with a Not Guilty plea. You won’t have to go to court if you plead guilty to speeding.
But if you respond with a Not Guilty plea, you’ll have to attend court to make traffic penalty challenges.
Regardless of whether you think the NIP still stands, you must fill it out and return it. This forum user wasn’t sure whether their NIP was valid as the person holding the speed gun wasn’t in a Police uniform. However, the only way to appeal this is by filling out the NIP and bringing the matter up in court.
Should I get a solicitor or barrister when I get a NIP?
It depends on the seriousness of the traffic violation. For example, suppose you were caught speeding well over the limit on a motorway and risk a ban. In that case, it could be worth having legal representation.
But hiring a motoring solicitor or barrister is expensive, and you may still end up with a ban or many penalty points on your licence.
Remember, points or bans will also lead to increased insurance premiums for some time, and if you drive for a living – bus drivers, HGV drivers, taxi drivers, couriers etc. – you may find there are additional consequences from your employer or regulatory body.
Can I ignore a Notice of Intended Prosecution?
Ignoring a NIP would be a mistake because it’s a legal obligation. In short, you must reply to what is known as a section 172 request. This is to provide a driver’s details when asked.
Failing to tell police who is driving a car when an offence has allegedly been committed is an offence itself, known formally as a Section 172 offence (S172) in line with the Road Traffic Act 1988, or sometimes referred to as a failure to furnish information penalty.
Note: Failure to respond could lead to prosecution!
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How do I reject a Notice of Intended Prosecution?
If you weren’t the driver, the only way to reject a NIP is to give the police the driver’s name. Next, you should request a court hearing to contest the Notice of Intended Prosecution against a speeding fine.
In short, you can’t ‘reject’ a NIP. Only a court can decide whether the notice is valid or not!
There is likely to be photographic speeding camera evidence of your offence, so the likelihood of having a valid defence against the NIP and being successful at a court hearing is slim.
What happens if I was not driving when the offence was committed?
As mentioned, if you weren’t driving at the time of the offence, you must tell the police who was. Even as the registered keeper, this is a legal obligation you can’t ignore!
You have 28 days of the notice being posted to let the police know who was driving the vehicle when the alleged offence happened.
Note: It’s up to the registered keeper to find out who was driving when the offence was committed! You will face prosecution when you can’t provide the details because you don’t know. It’s one of the major vehicle owner’s responsibilities.
Lastly, a notice of intended prosecution. What Should I Do?
You should respond within the 28-day time limit to avoid prosecution. You can either pay or send in a not-guilty plea. If you pay, you won’t have to go to court. But if you plead not guilty, you will!
The police must issue the notice within 14 days. But even if you get it later, you could still face prosecution.
In short, if you got a verbal notice from the police when they stopped you, don’t ignore things. The police can deal with the matter through a Single Justice Procedure Notice!
My advice? Never ignore a notice of intended prosecution because things quickly escalate when you do. Moreover, if you weren’t the driver when the offence happened, tell the police who was.
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