Notice of Intended Prosecution
You can only be convicted if the Notice of Intended Prosecution (commonly known as a NIP) has been issued to you correctly.
Take a look at this video for more information.
For example, you could win your case if the Notice of Intended Prosecution (or a summons to appear or a written charge) was not served within fourteen days of the alleged offence.
So if you are facing prosecution for a motoring offence, it is important to check whether a Notice of Intended Prosecution should have been issued, and if so, whether it was issued correctly.
The Notice of Intended Prosecution can be given verbally or in writing by a police officer at the road side at the time of the alleged offence. The police officer must verbally, or in writing, tell the driver that he will be reported for an offence, and that prosecution may follow.
If a speeding offence is recorded by a fixed camera, the Notice of Intended Prosecution is instead sent by post.
Notices are usually sent by first class post and are then considered to have been served on the second business day after posting, unless the you can prove otherwise.
If the Notice of Intended Prosecution is sent by registered post or recorded delivery to the last known address of the relevant person, the notice is deemed to have been successfully served – even if it did not reach the intended recipient.
Sometimes a failure of the police to serve the Notice of Intended Prosecution does not prevent conviction, for example:
- if the prosecution can show that they could not reasonably have found the name and address of the driver or the registered keeper
- if the driver provided an incorrect address
- if the vehicle keeper has not registered a change of address
The Notice of Intended Prosecution and the demand for the driver of a vehicle to be named are typically sent together or combined into one document.
It is important to recognise though that the Notice of Intended Prosecution and the requirement to nominate the driver of a vehicle are two different things, even if they appear on the same form.
Whilst there is a time limit within which a NIP must be served, to be effective, there is NO time limit to require the registered keeper to name the driver of a vehicle.
This means that if a Notice of Intended Prosecution is required, but is not served within fourteen days, then you cannot be convicted of the alleged office. However a demand to nominate the driver is still valid and it remains an offence to fail to comply with it within 28 days.
As ever - if in doubt about any of this, get good advice!
If you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution and are unsure about the implications of these requirements in your particular case then you should seek legal advice.