A notice of intended prosecution (NIP) is sent to the registered keeper of a vehicle or the nominated driver of a vehicle that is alleged to have committed a motoring offence.
David Beckham avoided prosecution on a technicality. He was accused of driving at 59mph in a 40mph zone on the A40 in Paddington, London on 23 January. A NIP was sent to the registered keeper of the loan vehicle he was driving. In this case celebrity lawyer, Mr Freeman argued that the speeding notice arrived a day too late and therefore a district judge ruled that David Beckham would not be prosecuted.
To be valid the NIP must be served on the driver or registered keeper within 14 days of the offence taking place.
NIPs can also be issued verbally by a police officer at the time of the offence, or you could receive a court summons through the post for the alleged offence within 14 days.
If you receive a notice of intended prosecution it will identify the time, date, place and nature of the alleged offence and will ask you to provide details of the driver of the vehicle at that time.
You must respond within 28 days. Never ignore a NIP as it could result in you receiving a summons and having to go to court.
If you weren’t the driver at the time of the offence, you must provide the name and address of the driver to the police. The person that you name will then receive a request for information and, unless the police think you are deliberately misleading them, you will not be prosecuted.
If you were the driver of the vehicle and admit the offence, you will be faced with some options. In the case of speeding or careless driving, you might be offered a driver improvement course or a fixed penalty fine with penalty points on your licence.
For company, lease or hire car drivers alleged to have committed a motoring offence, the NIP will be sent to the lease or hire company registered as the vehicle’s keeper. They will provide your details as the driver of the vehicle, so that the police can then contact you. They may also charge you an additional administrative or handling fee.