Notices of Intended Prosecution (NIP)

The police send thousands of notice of intended prosecution (NIPs) and requirements to provide driver details (s.172 requirement) every day. They mean two things: the police want to prosecute the driver of a vehicle for a driving offence; and the police want you to tell them who was driving. The first notice must be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days.

If you have received a notice from the police read on to find out what you have to do. The rules can be complicated. If you do not find the answer give me a call, I may be able to help.

The 3 Step Process

Step 1 – Look at the name on the notice

  • If it is your name read on. You may need to respond.
  • If it is not in your name then give it to the person whose name is on the notice.
  • If the notice is to a company or a business give it to the Company Secretary or the owner of the company.

Step 2 – Look at the details of the vehicle

Do you recognise the details of the vehicle?

  • If you recognise the details of the vehicle then read on. You may need to respond.
  • If you do not recognise the details of the vehicle then write back to the police telling them.

Think again… Are you sure that you do not recognise the details of the vehicle? Not responding when you should can result in 6 penalty points and a fine.

Step 3 – Look at the location of the offence

Do you know who was driving?

  • If it was you then reply to the notice saying that it was you.
  • If it was not you but you know who it was then reply to the notice saying who it was.
  • If you do not know who it was then reply to the notice saying that you do not know.

Think again… Are you sure that you do not recognise the details of the vehicle? Not responding when you should can result in 6 penalty points and a fine.

NIP/s.172 Notice FAQs

Can I ask for photos?

Yes you can. The police will often send photos from speed cameras, mobile units or CCTV. They do not have to send them and sometimes they will refuse.

It is worth asking if you are unsure who was driving or if you want to see some proof.

You need to be careful. Asking for the photos does not get you out of having to respond. If you miss the 28 day deadline you can be prosecuted for failing to provide driver details. That|will get you 6 points and a fine.

How long do I have to respond?

You have 28 days to respond to the notice. Not responding in time can result in a charge of failing to provide driver details. If you reply late for a good reason you could have a defence.

What happens if I do not respond?

You risk a charge of failing to provide driver details. The penalty for failing to provide driver details is 6 penalty points and a fine.

Can a company be given penalty points?

No. If a company does not reply to a requirement to provide driver details they can still be prosecuted. A company can only be given a fine, no penalty points.

My company does not know who was driving the vehicle, does that excuse it from replying?

No. A company has to keep records. It is expected to know who has its vehicles. If there are no records that will not be a defence.

I got the notice more than 14 days after the alleged offence. Can I ignore it?

No. You still need to reply. If the notice was served late you may have a defence if the case goes to court. Sometimes the police do not have to serve the notice in time (if there was an accident; if you are not the registered keeper; if there is another good reason). Call me if you are not sure.

I want to ignore the notice. If I reply I will be prosecuted for something more serious that failing to provide driver details.

This is a difficult situation. Ignoring a notice is a criminal offence that no lawyer (including me) will ever advise you to do.

Sometimes you might think that the consequences of replying to the notice are worse than ignoring it. That can be true. For example, if you receive a notice in connection for a very high speed or even for dangerous driving then replying to the notice puts you at greater risk of prosecution. If you are convicted then you might get more than the 6 points and a fine available for failing to provide driver details.

If you do not reply the police could still continue their investigation and try to prove who was driving another way. If the police can prove that you were driving then you could be prosecuted for failing to provide driver details as well as the original offence.

I was speeding but I want to nominate someone else who has agreed to take the points.

Don’t. The is perverting the course of justice. If you get caught you will probably go to prison.

No Substitute for Experience

I specialise in representing drivers accused of motoring offences. I have years of experience representing clients in police investigations. I have deep knowledge about Magistrates’ Courts and Crown Courts. That means that I can advise you how a police investigation will effect exactly what will happen in court. Hopefully my advice will mean that you avoid court altogether.

Law Society Accreditation

I am a member of the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme – an award that is only given to solicitors who have reached a required standard and level of experience in the police station and the Magistrates’ Court.

Unsure If You Need Legal Representation when the Police Have Served a Notice on You?

Before you decide if you need a solicitor, call me or request a call back under no obligation.

 

Photo A628 near Howden Moors, Derbyshire by Highways Agency