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What is a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)?

by | May 13, 2022 | Articles, Driving Offence Advice

If you have recently received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), you may be wondering what it is and what it means. In this article, we shall briefly answer some of the most common questions that arise when a person is faced with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.

What is a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)?

A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is issued by the police to the registered keeper of a vehicle with the purpose of informing them that their vehicle has been flagged up for committing a road traffic offence, and that the driver at the time of the alleged offence may be prosecuted for this.  

Road traffic offences that warrant a NIP include:

  • Speeding
  • Contravening a road traffic signal (Running a red light)
  • Careless driving
  • Dangerous driving

The notice will provide an overview of the offence and outline key information such as the registration of the vehicle, what the proposed offence is and the location, date and time that the offence took place. There is a requirement for the police to serve the notice upon the registered keeper within 14 days of the alleged offence, in order to allow the registered keeper sufficient time to remember the occasion and to be able to respond to the notice identifying and specifying the details of who was driving the vehicle at the time.

NIP Notice of Intended Prosecution

I received a NIP outside of the 14 days, what happens now?

The law states that the police must serve the NIP within 14 days of the alleged incident as failure to do so may mean that they cannot prosecute you. There are, however, some exceptions to this and you may still be prosecuted even if you did not receive the NIP within 14 days.

For example, if the vehicle you were driving was a hire/ company car. If the police can show that they served the registered keeper (the company or hire company) the NIP within 14 days, you would still be liable to prosecution even if you did not receive documentation about the offence more than 14 days after the offence took place. This is because the police may have complied with the requirements as they may have actually issued it to the registered keeper within 14 days of the alleged offence.

If you are the registered keeper of the vehicle and you believe the police did serve you the NIP outside of the 14 days, there may be scope to get the prosecution thrown out. It is still vital however to respond to the NIP within 28 days otherwise you could be prosecuted for failing to provide driver details.

I was stopped by the police but I haven’t received a NIP yet?

It may also be the case that you don’t receive a notice via post because you were stopped by the police and given a NIP verbally. In this case, there is no requirement for the police to send you a further physical NIP in the post because you have already been informed of a potential prosecution when you were stopped by the police. If the police have given you a verbal NIP, you may receive a fixed penalty of points and a fine or, the police may deal with it by way of issuing a Single Justice Procedure Notice.

Time limits on responding to a NIP

It is a requirement that the registered keeper must name themselves as the driver or provide sufficient details of who the driver was at the time of the alleged offence and return this to the police within 28 days. Failure to do so may result in a further prosecution of failing to provide driver details of which carries 6 Penalty Points and a fine of up to £1,000.

I’m the registered keeper but I was not the driver at the time

If you are the registered keeper of the vehicle but were not driving the vehicle at the time the offence took place, it is still your responsibility to respond to the NIP and provide sufficient details of who was driving the vehicle within 28 days of the notice being posted. 

If you are unsure who was driving at the appropriate time, it is your responsibility to make the necessary investigations into what was driving your vehicle at the time. You may wish to look at your calendar, the calendar of your family to establish who was the driver. If unable to clearly identify the driver at the appropriate time, there is a high risk that you could be prosecuted for failing to provide driver details.

Do you require legal advice &/or representation?

If you are facing a driving offence prosecution and require expert legal representation at Court, call our lawyers on 0345 222 9955 or complete our Contact Form.

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