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What to do if you receive a notice of intended prosecution

Receiving a notice of intended prosecution is both worrying and frustrating. If you’ve never been sent one before or have never been accused of a potential misconduct before then it’s enough to make you extremely concerned. Motoring offences are extremely common so it’s best to stay calm and seek legal advice if you feel overwhelmed by the situation.

The main piece of advice in this situation is – don’t panic. Read on for what to do if you receive a notice of intended prosecution.

Why have I received this?

You can be served an NIP for a range of motoring offences. Including:

  • Speeding
  • Dangerous driving
  • Failing to comply with traffic signs/signals
  • Careless driving

The type of alleged offence may have been verbally explained to you if you were stopped at the scene by a police officer, or you may have received the NIP documents in the post. An NIP may refer to multiple offences allegedly committed at the same time. If the police are considering charges for careless or dangerous driving they may include both offences on the notice.

What next

You’ll have been sent this NIP as you are either the registered keeper of the vehicle in question, or you have been nominated as the driver at the alleged time. The NIP includes a requirement that you  confirm that you were the driver in question or nominating the person who was. You have a legal obligation to complete and return the requirement within 28 days of receipt. Failure to do so – either because you miss the deadline or simply don’t respond - can result in prosecution as well as points on your licence and a fine.

What if I wasn’t the driver

If you weren’t the driver in question, then do not give the NIP to the person you know to be the driver. Instead, fill it in and nominate them on the form provided. Returning it by stating that someone else was the driver means that that person will then receive a requirement which they will need to complete and return.

Ok, I was the driver. What now?

Confirming that you were the driver in question gives the prosecution 3 options:

  1. They can send you to complete a speeding/safety course. And upon completion you’ll receive no points on your licence.
  2. You can receive points on your licence and also pay a monetary fine.
  3. You will be sent paperwork instructing you to attend a court date and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

This NIP is incorrect. What should I do?

Even if you wholeheartedly believe that the NIP is incorrect – don’t panic. You should still respond to the requirement for driver details within the time stated. Remember, returning the NIP is not an admission of guilt, but it will give you the opportunity to fully explain and defend the matter as the case develops. If you’re still unsure or confused by the whole situation then make sure you seek legal help and advice as soon as possible. 

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