In the UK, the list of motoring offenses is a long one. Aside, from all of the offenses, mainly parking-related, that could result in a fixed penalty fine being issued there are 78 others. These are more serious, so you can end up with points on your license. When you get 12, you stand a good chance of losing your right to drive, for a period of time.
So, if you live in the UK, for any period of time, you need to know the right way to handle things. You only have to commit 3 or 4 offenses to lose your ability to easily get to work and carry out many other daily tasks.
With this in mind, we have put together this quick guide to receiving a notice of intended prosecution. This is usually referred to as a NIP.
What is a NIP?
Basically, if you commit a serious motoring offense, in the UK, the police need to notify you of the fact that you are going to be prosecuted. You do not necessarily have to be stopped to be caught committing a motoring offense. There are traffic cameras everywhere in the UK. So, the chances are if you do something wrong, there will be a camera capturing an image of you doing it.
If that happens, a notice will be sent to the person who is registered as owning the vehicle. Typically, that notice will arrive within 14 days of an offense being committed.
What information is included in a NIP?
The notice will state that a driving offense has been committed in that vehicle. It will list the date, time and location of the offense, along with details of the offense.
It is recognised that the owner of the vehicle may not have been driving it at the time. So, the notice includes a request for the name of the driver.
Why you need to respond promptly to a NIP?
You need to resist the temptation to ignore these notices or, worse, try to pretend yours was not the vehicle involved. Failure to provide details of the driver is in itself an offense. So, do not try to cover for a friend who was driving at the time, either.
If you do not know who was driving, you should seek legal advice. A good motoring offence lawyer will advise you what to say in that situation. You need to bear in mind that your response could be used as evidence in court.
What happens next?
If you were the driver, there are 3 things that could happen next. For careless driving or speeding you may be offered the chance to attend a course. The idea is that doing this improves the overall safety of everyone on the roads.
On the other hand, you may be fined and have penalty points added to your licence. But, if you went a long way over the speeding limit you are likely to have to appear in court.
What if I am not guilty?
If you think there is something wrong with the evidence. For example, you believe that the vehicle in the photograph is in fact a clone of your car; it is wise to seek legal advice. A good motoring lawyer will review the evidence with you and establish whether you have a good case.