You may have received in the post a letter referring to a “notice of intended prosecution”. Naturally you may be worried about what this means or what it could refer to. This is why we will be looking at what this means and what you should do in the event of receiving a notice of intended prosecution.
What is it?
Essentially a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is a warning that you could be receiving a prosecution for committing an offence (for example speeding). However, it is important to remember that a NIP does not necessarily mean that you will be prosecuted.
There is a 14-day notice period that a notice must be given – what should be noted is that the prosecutor doesn’t have to prove it reached someone, just that it was sent out (Note that NIPs can also be given verbally and that it doesn’t matter if someone has moved house in that time, it just needs to be sent to the last known address).
Once it has been received it needs to be signed – if you do not sign an NIP within 28 days you can get 6 points on your license and you could be fined up to £1000.
What if I don’t agree?
If you want to dispute the charges you can request a court hearing within the 28-day period the NIP has been served. If, however you do not pay a fine or attend a hearing within that time the fine will be increased by 50%. After this point if you object you can only do so via a statutory declaration.
What is a statutory declaration?
This is where the person accused can swear on oath that they weren’t the person the NIP was issued to or they have lodged an appeal within 28 days.
Don’t ignore it
The worst thing you can do with an NIP is to ignore it. There should be clear instructions and contact details on there so that you can lodge an appeal.
If you are not sure whether or not you have any grounds for appeal or want to know more about an NIP it is worth contacting a legal representative who can go over the facts with you.
At Larcomes we pride ourselves not only on our team’s legal specialist knowledge but also the fact we can help our clients through difficult circumstances and to help them through it. For example, you may not necessarily lose points on your license as there may be other alternatives such as speed awareness courses and it may help to see if there were any extenuating circumstances that a court hearing may wish to take into account before passing a verdict (for example if there was an emergency).
If you would like to know more about what we can offer you or to talk to a member of our team, please contact us today and we will be happy to discuss your circumstances in more detail.