Have you received a Notice of Intended Prosecution about a driving offence? Here’s what you need to know about returning it, disputing it, and how many penalty points you might receive as an endorsement on your licence.
Have you received a Notice of Intended Prosecution?
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What do I do with a Notice of Intended Prosecution?
If the Police believe that you’ve committed a driving offence – ranging from leaving a vehicle in a dangerous place all the way up to dangerous driving – you may receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP). This may be issued verbally by a Police officer if you’ve been stopped while driving, or in the form of a letter in the post.
Importantly, you should receive the NIP within 14 days from the date of the alleged offence, or it may be invalid. It should also contain details of the alleged offence, including the date, time, location and a brief description of the events, including your speed if you’ve been caught speeding.
This NIP doesn’t mean that you’ll definitely be prosecuted for the offence but serves as a legal warning that you may.
How do I respond to a Notice of Intended Prosecution?
It’s important that you do this as accurately and honestly as possible, particularly because naming someone else in order to avoid receiving points on your licence is a serious offence that can lead to a charge of perverting the course of justice. Perverting the course of justice attracts an immediate sentence of imprisonment in most cases.
What happens when I’ve returned a Notice of Intended Prosecution?
Once you’ve returned the NIP, the Police have six months to start a prosecution, after which they’re unable to bring any charges against you. It’s possible that they’ll decide to take no further action, but in most cases, you’ll receive a (FPN) or a Court Summons within the six-month period.
A Fixed Penalty Notice should be considered as a conditional offer: perhaps of a £100 fine and three penalty points on your driving licence. You can either accept the fine and the licence endorsement or decide to defend the charge in court.
As an alternative to the FPN, you may receive a Court Summons, which means you’ll have to either defend or accept the charge in court and be sentenced there if you’re found guilty of the offence. If you wish to contest a Fixed Penalty Notice, or have received a Summons, it’s best to take advice from an expert road traffic offence lawyer as soon as possible. To do so, call us on , or contact us and .
What does it mean if I get a driving endorsement?
‘Driving Endorsement’ is the legal term for penalty points on your driving licence. Different numbers of points are given for , and these remain on your licence for either four or eleven years, depending on the offences.
Failing to Comply with Traffic Light Signals carries a maximum penalty of three points, while Driving without valid insurance will lead to between six and eight penalty points. Crucially, if you accumulate 12 penalty points within a three-year period, you’ll usually receive a disqualification that means you can’t drive for anywhere between six months and two years, depending upon the number of points you’ve accumulated and your previous driving record.
You’re also likely to pay more for your car insurance at your next renewal, as you’re legally obliged to declare all endorsements to your insurers. If you’ve received a Notice of Intended Prosecution and are concerned about the number of penalty points this might mean, it’s worth speaking to an experienced road traffic offence solicitor as soon as possible.
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