Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)

For certain offences, such as speeding or jumping red lights, the police will serve a NIP upon the registered keeper of the vehicle (and this must be within 14 days of the alleged offence) unless the driver has already been told in person of the intention to prosecute.

However, it is often the case that the police will not have stopped the driver at the time because, for example, an unattended speed camera was the method of detecting the speeding offence.

Do remember what is obvious, and that is that the registered keeper is not always the person who was driving at the time. However, for the prosecution to go ahead, all the police have to prove is personal notification to the driver or service of the notice upon the registered keeper.

Service of the notice may be done personally but it is usually by first class post to the address of the registered keeper. The NIP must specify the nature of the offence and the time and place where it is said to have been committed.

Loopholes

This area of law is far more complex than it may first seem and ‘loophole’ defences can frequently be used to attack the validity of the NIP. A barrister or solicitor speeding specialist may challenge the accuracy of the information given in the NIP. Always remember, if we can “kick the NIP into touch” then that is the end of the prosecution. Don’t expect the prosecuting solicitor to bring any mistakes or shortfalls in the NIP to your attention: they may not even have considered the point. A specialist solicitor or barrister representing you in a speeding prosecution certainly will!

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