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How to Reject a Notice of Intended Prosecution

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Just received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and are worried it might be fake? This article is here to help. Each month, over 130,000 people come to our website for advice on fines and parking tickets, so you’re in good company.

In this article, we’ll help you understand:

  • What an NIP is.
  • Why the police issue an NIP.
  • The deadline for the police to issue an NIP.
  • How to respond to an NIP.
  • How to appeal against an NIP.

We know that receiving an NIP can be scary. You might be worried about what happens if you ignore it, or you need help working out if it’s real. We have all the answers to your questions and hope this article will give you comfort and help you make the best choice for your situation.

Let’s get started.

Should I respond to a NIP?

Yes. You should reply to the NIP within a set deadline which is within 28 days of getting the notice by completing Section 172.

If you weren’t the driver when the offence was recorded, you must give the driver’s details to the police.

The NIP should include a request to ‘name a driver’ form.

When you fail to provide the information, you will get a hefty fine and 6 penalty points on your licence.

The correct process is to:

  • Name the driver
  • Request a court hearing

You can then challenge the Notice of Intended Prosecution in court under Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

Moreover, only a court can decide if the NIP is incorrect or not.

Note: You can’t reject a Notice of Intended Prosecution because you weren’t the driver when the offence occurred.

Should I ignore a Notice of Intended Prosecution?

Ignoring a Notice of Intended Prosecution would be an expensive mistake.

The consequences would be far-reaching. In short, you have a legal obligation to reply to a NIP by filling out Section 172 which provides driver details.

What happens after I return a NIP?

Once you get the NIP, fill out Section 172 to confirm driver details.

The police will send you a conditional offer in the form of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

Why do police issue a Notice of Intended Prosecution?

You could be caught on camera violating a speed limit. But the police could also issue a NIP because:

  • You ran a red traffic light
  • You were caught driving dangerously or recklessly

What’s the deadline for the police to issue a NIP?

When a violation is caught on camera, the police must send you the NIP within 14 days of the offence.

If the NIP arrives later than fourteen days after the offence was recorded, the driver can’t be prosecuted.

However, this may not always be the case!

There are exceptions, and you could still find yourself in court even if the NIP arrives later than 14 days after the alleged offence!

The 14-day rule may not apply when you’re caught speeding in a hire car.

The hire car company is sent the NIP because they’re the registered keepers. So, you may not know about the offence until well after the 14-day deadline.

In short, you will still face charges for a driving offence because the authorities complied with their legal obligation to send the NIP within the deadline!

Case study: Driver doubts a speed gun was calibrated correctly

As you will see from the message posted on a popular online forum, many motorists wonder if speed guns are calibrated correctly.

And if they are not, can they challenged a NIP?

Source: Moneysavingexpert

Could I get a verbal Notice of Intended Prosecution?

Yes. You could be given a verbal Notice of Intended Prosecution by the police.

Then, when you’re stopped by the authorities for speeding, the police will tell you that you face potential prosecution.

In short, you won’t get the notice in the mail. Instead, you get a fixed penalty notice and a fine.

Plus, if the offence is deemed minor, it’s at the discretion of the police whether they decide to issue you with a Single Justice Procedure Notice.

How does a NIP affect motor insurance?

A motor insurance provider will view you as a ‘high-risk’ if you’ve been caught committing a driving offence.

As such, your annual insurance premium could go up but this depends on the insurer.

How should I respond to a Notice of Intended Prosecution?

You should reply with a guilty plea which means you accept the fine and penalty points.

Or you can reply with a not guilty plea, in which case you’ll have to attend a court hearing.

Note: When you put in a guilty plea, you may not have to attend court! But it depends on the seriousness of the offence.

Should I get a solicitor when I receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution?

If the offence is serious, you may need to be represented by a solicitor or barrister.

So, for instance, you could seek legal representation if you stand to lose your driving licence. Although there’s no guarantee you won’t be disqualified from driving, nonetheless.

That said, legal representation is expensive, and you could still end up with a driving ban and penalty points!

How much will a Fixed Penalty Notice cost?

A Fixed Penalty Notice will set you back £50, £100, £200 or £300, depending on the severity of an offence.

Plus, you’d get a notice for the following offences:

  • Speeding
  • Careless driving
  • Using a mobile device whilst driving

Lastly, can I reject a Notice of Intended Prosecution?

No. Technically, you can’t reject a NIP as such.

But you can contest the fine. For example, say you got a Notice of Intended Prosecution for speeding. You can write a letter of appeal.

But you must reply to a NIP within the 28-day time limit, or you could face prosecution.

You can only argue that you weren’t the driver committing the offence. You cannot ‘reject’ the NIP.

In short, you should request a court hearing to contest the notice. A judge can decide the outcome.

Note: A defective NIP is not grounds for rejecting it!

Never ignore a Notice of Intended Prosecution, either.

The consequences could be dire both legally and financially. What was a minor fine, and a few penalty points could turn into something much more substantial?

In my experience it’s far wiser to deal with a NIP by following the legal process bearing in mind you can’t reject a Notice of Intended Prosecution, but you can challenge the fine!


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Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.