Notice of Intended Prosecution
There are few things driver dread more than finding a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) on the doormat on their return home from work. If you receive an NIP, contact the criminal defence specialists at Qamar Solicitors straightaway for advice as to how you should respond.
What is an NIP?
An NIP is a notification that a prosecution is being considered against the individual. It is usually issued by the police and may be issued if you are suspected of a driving offence for which you were not stopped. You may be unlikely to know about it until the NIP arrives. These offences could include speeding and traffic light offences which are caught by road safety cameras, or by cameras operated by traffic police.
Road cameras are not perfect – and neither are traffic police officers. If you receive an unjust or inaccurate NIP you need expert legal services as soon as possible in order to build your defence. At Qamar Solicitors we are highly experienced in fighting NIPs and can make sure that you are not left facing unfair penalties.
Responding to the NIP
NIPs must be issued within 14 days of the suspected offence, and will be addressed to the registered owner of the vehicle. You will have 28 days to respond to the notice – including by confirming who was driving the vehicle at the time of the suspected offence. If you fail to do this, you have committed another offence – for which you may receive 6 points on your licence and or a fine of up to £1000.
If you have made every reasonable effort to identify who was driving the vehicle at the time, and can’t (for example, this may happen if your vehicle has been stolen) you should be exempt from any penalty – but you will almost certainly need expert legal help to prove that you have attempted to comply with the law.
What are the rules for issuing an Notice of Intended Prosecution?
NIPs must comply with a number of strict requirements in both content and format if it is to be valid, including:
- it must be issued within 14 days of the alleged offence
- it must be signed (often electronically) by an authorised officer, and
- it must contain full, adequate information on the nature of the offence
We will examine the NIP, and if there have been any breaches of these requirements it can constitute part of your defence.
Many NIPs are issued because of photographic evidence gathered by speed safety cameras mounted on the roadside or operated by traffic police officers. Although the police are not legally obliged to show you the photographic evidence, you are entitled to ask for it – and it may be very useful in your defence. Some forces allow you to view photographic evidence related to the suspected offence online.
How can we help?
The expert lawyers at Qamar Solicitors are experienced in challenging unfair NIPs. We will examine every aspect of the NIP itself in order to establish whether or not it is valid. If it is valid, we will gather information to bring a comprehensive and effective defence on your behalf.
Responding to NIPs can bring throw up some unexpected and complicating factors including:
- The vehicle having been stolen before the incident
- The driver of the vehicle having moved/returned abroad
- The driver of the vehicle not having a UK drivers’ licence
- Receiving an NIP reminder without having received the original NIP
- Incorrect details being noted on the NIP
It is important to treat an NIP seriously, and to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible. We can help guide you through even the most complex of cases, including by securing photographic evidence where possible, and ensure you are not left facing penalties you don’t deserve.