Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) for speeding
What is a notice of intended prosecution?
If you are believed to have committed an alleged speeding offence, then you must be presented with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 14 of having supposedly committed the offence. You may receive the NIP directly from a police officer if you are stopped at the time of committing an offence, or you may receive one through the post. If a notice of intended prosecution is not received then a summons must be issued within 14 days.
Failing to comply with the above should result in the prosecution failing.
If you have received a NIP and need to discuss your case with an experience speeding offences solicitor, then contact us as soon as possible. Call us on 0151 422 8020, or click the button below.
Knowing when an NIP is valid
There are a number of situations that often occur, in which a notice of intended prosecution is invalid. If this happens in your situation, it could mean that the court cannot legally charge you for the alleged offence. Below we’ve listed a few common situations in which charges are often dropped due to an invalid NIP.
No NIP given
If you were stopped by the police you probably received a fixed penalty or a ‘producer’. Sometimes this document, typically handed to a motorist at the roadside, has a notice of intended prosecution attached, warning you that you may be prosecuted. However, there may have been no NIP attached. You cannot be charged if you were not warned of the intention to prosecute.
Police rely on the fact that most motorists are ignorant of the law and just plead guilty, often preferring to accept a fixed penalty rather than challenge it.
If your ‘speeding ticket’ did not include a NIP, the only realistic chance of a successful prosecution is if the officer gave you a verbal NIP. This raises an interesting point: what happens if you do not recall the officer giving you a verbal notice of an intended prosecution? How can the officer prove that he did, especially if no document was handed to you containing a NIP?
In fact, in the above situation you may not need to do much challenging at all. It is for the police (via the CPS) to prove the speeding allegation (not for you to disprove it). If your evidence is that you did not receive a NIP, the onus is on the CPS to prove that one was given to you within 14 days. If they cannot prove this, the case should fail.
No NIP = no conviction.
Many speeding cases arise where the motorist was ‘flashed’ by a Gatso camera or caught by a laser device from a camera van. In these situations the motorist is not stopped at the scene and therefore the driver or registered keeper must receive a written NIP (along with a requirement to identify the driver) by post within 14 days.
This raises a practical problem for the police and the CPS and gives rise to a possible ‘notice of intended prosecution loophole’ for the motorist. If you claim that you did not receive the NIP in the post, the police must prove that they posted it. If they cannot do this, then charges are often dropped.
Even if the CPS can prove that the NIP was posted, can they prove that you received it? This is unlikely as NIPs are rarely sent using recorded delivery. Whilst there is a ‘presumption’ of delivery if the NIP was posted correctly, it is always open to the defendant to reject this presumption by giving evidence of non-receipt.
NIP for more than one offence
If you have been charged with more than one offence, you should receive a NIP for each offence. For example, if you received a NIP at the roadside for speeding but, several weeks later when the summons arrived it also charged you with careless driving, you should not be convicted of careless driving because no NIP had been given to you for this particular offence.
Errors with the NIP
Errors in the way that the NIP is addressed – for instance a misspelling of your name – sometimes provide an adequate reason that you may not have received the NIP, and as a result charges are dropped.
If there is an error relating to the time and place of the alleged offence, the case against you may also fail. For example, an alleged offence on “the Hothfield to Bethersden road” may not be sufficient enough information to identify the precise location of the alleged offence, and the prosecution may fail as a result.
Please contact us for help and advice on how to deal with and defend a notice of intended prosecution.
For an informal discussion of your case please telephone Marcus on 07808 553 555. If you would prefer not to telephone, please complete the online assessment form.