Many of us will be familiar with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NiP) owing to their use in cases of speeding or drivers proceeding through a red light. Here, Ghaz Iqbal offers an important overview and dispels some of the myths surrounding NiPs and their use.
What is a Notice of Intended Prosecution?
Issued by the Police, a NiP formally records both that an offence has occurred, and that the Police intend to prosecute the offender.
It complies with the requirement in s.1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which states that for certain offences, a defendant has to be warned of a potential prosecution.
Don’t the Police have to physically stop someone first?
No- a NiP can be served by post (e.g. for speeding offences recorded by monitoring equipment such as a speed camera.)
Does it have to be given in writing?
No- if a police officer stops a driver they believe has committed a speeding offence, they can issue the NiP verbally.
Does the Notice have to be issued within a certain timescale?
Yes- it must be served within 14 days of the offence. If it is not, a driver may be able to contest it.
I want to contest the Notice- can I do so?
Yes- speak to us as soon as you receive the Notice, in order for us to provide personalised advice relating to your situation. Acting promptly is vital, as you only have 28 days to reply.
I wasn’t the driver at the time of the offence- can I ignore the
No- you are legally obliged to supply details of the driver within the 28 day period discussed above. If you fail to do so, this can be dealt with as a separate offence, Failure to Provide Driver Information. You may find yourself with six penalty points and having to pay a fine of up to £5,000.
The Notice wasn’t physically signed- can I reject it?
No- an electronic, or typed, signature is sufficient.
I’ve been served with a Notice but am unsure what to do next…