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What is a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)?

What is a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)?

A Notice of Intended Prosecution otherwise known as a NIP can be issued if you have committed a motoring offence and were not given a verbal warning at the scene.  It is covered under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.  The warning simply says that you could face prosecution and it requires you to complete and return to the Police (in any area, i.e. Warwickshire, West Midlands etc) the required information.  

The NIP Notice is usually sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle.  It will ask who the driver was at the relevant time of the offence (i.e. speeding, driving without due care etc).  The Notice is usually sent by the Police within 14 days of the incident they are investigating.  If the Notice is not sent, then the subsequent prosecution may be invalid. 

There are consequences for people who receive a NIP Notice and do not reply to it.  You would then be committing a further offence and could face up to six penalty points in addition to any points attaching to the original offence.  It is in your interest to keep copies of any letters that you receive together with dates of any letters posted. 

Please bear in mind that a NIP Notice can be issued if you have committed any motoring offence and were not given a verbal warning at the scene.  For example, a speeding offence could be caught on camera and 14 days later you receive a NIP Notice which should then be completed and returned. 

If you were not the driver and could not ascertain who the driver was at a given time, this would be tested by way of reasonable diligence i.e. what enquiries you have made in order to ascertain who the driver of the vehicle was at the time. 

Alternatively, as is so common these days, registration plates are being cloned and it may be that you receive a NIP Notice with respect to an offence that took place in a part of the country where you have not visited.  Again, it is very important that you reply to the NIP Notice and not ignore it.  You would simply state that you were not the driver and that your vehicle was not at the scene at the relevant time.  The onus would then be on the Police to prove otherwise. 

The relevant law on NIP Notices is covered by Section 172 of The Road Traffic Act.

There are various scenarios that can occur within a NIP Notice and you would need to seek legal advice as to the merits of your case. 

If you or someone you know has received a NIP Notice and would like to seek some legal advice then please contact Nazir Vania on 02477 710017 or 07774 555065 or email

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