Receiving a notification of intended prosecution for a driving offence can be quite a shock, especially if it is the first time you have received an NIP. It is important that you understand the steps involved following a notification and what is required of you by law.

What is a notice of impending prosecution?

A notice of impending prosecution – also known as an NIP – is a notification that a driving offence has been committed and the police intend to prosecute the individual responsible.

What do you get an FPN for?

There are two types of fixed penalty notice (FPN):

  1. Endorsable – accrues points on your driving licence, plus a fine ranging from £100 to £300
  2. Non-endorsable – settled with a fixed fine ranging from £50 to £100

What are the penalties for non-endorsable driving offences?

Non-endorsable driving offences which are charged with a fine of £50 include:

  1. Failing to adhere to traffic regulations  – e.g give way signs, correct roundabout priorities
  2. Negligent use of a vehicle – e.g failing to maintain proper control
  3. Motorway offences – e.g stopping on the hard shoulder
  4. Vehicle registration offences – e.g failing to ensure the licence plate is clearly visible
  5. Driving a vehicle in a defective or dangerous condition – e.g with broken or defective windscreen wipers
  6. Lighting offences – e.g broken or damaged headlights
  7. Noise offences – e.g excessive use of the horn
  8. Load offences – e.g exceeding legal weight restrictions

Non-endorsable driving offences which are charged with a fine of £100 include:

  1. Failure to wear a seat belt
  2. Driving without a valid MOT

What are the penalties for endorsable driving offences?

Endorsable driving offences which are charged with a fine of £100 – together with penalty points – include:

  1. Speeding
  2. Careless driving – e.g tailgating
  3. Motorway offences – e.g driving on the hard shoulder
  4. Traffic offences – e.g failing to stop at a red light
  5. Pedestrian offences – e.g failing to stop at a crossing
  6. Motorcycle offences  – e.g travelling with more than one passenger

Endorsable driving offences which are charged with a fine of £200 – together with penalty points – include:

  1. Using a mobile phone whilst driving
  2. Failing to identify a driver when requested to do so

Endorsable driving offences which are charged with a fine of £300 – together with penalty points – include:

  1. Driving without insurance (minimum of third party cover)

What is the penalty for driving without undue care and attention?

Driving without undue care and attention – also known as dangerous driving and careless driving – is defined as:

  1. Driving at a standard that falls below that expected of a competent driver
  2. Driving that fails to show reasonable consideration for other people using the road

The offence of driving without due care and attention carries a penalty of either:

  1. A driving ban
  2. Between 3 and 9 penalty points

You can also receive a fine of up to £2,500, depending on the nature and severity of the offence.

How long do the police have to inform you of a speeding ticket?

The police must serve an NIP to the registered keeper of the vehicle involved in the traffic offence within 14 days of the date the offence was committed. This applies to certain offences only. The notified keeper is named on the V5 document.

If the police fail to serve the NIP within the 14 day limit and the offence specifies this timeframe, they will be unable to secure a conviction for the offence.

If you are stopped by the police for committing a driving offence such as speeding, there are three possible outcomes:

  1. The police officer may give you an immediate verbal notice of intended prosecution
  2. You may receive an NIP within 14 days
  3. You may receive a postal requisition (court summons) within 14 days

You need to ensure you abide by the deadlines provided by the police following receipt of an NIP as failing to do so is an offence.

If, after having responded to your NIP or following a police interview, you receive a postal requisition (formerly a court summons) to attend a traffic court, you should consider instructing a specialist driving offence solicitor.

Why is legal representation important in driving offence cases?

The type of driving penalty that the court can charge with an FPN will depend on the type of offence you face and your personal circumstances.

At Lawtons, we can represent you in a number of driving offence cases including:

  1. Speeding
  2. Drink driving
  3. Drug driving
  4. Being drunk in charge of a vehicle
  5. Failure to provide a breath or urine sample
  6. Dangerous driving
  7. Careless or inconsiderate driving
  8. Failure to stop and report an accident
  9. Failure to identify a driver or provide details
  10. Perverting the course of justice
  11. Texting or using a mobile phone whilst driving
  12. Driving without insurance

Every driving offence is unique and so ares the respective sentences for dangerous driving. Our extensive expertise in driving offence cases ensures we can assist you through all the steps in your own individual traffic case.

Whether you face speeding points or a charge for dangerous driving, we are here to help you.  Get in touch with our specialist motoring offence solicitors for advice.