NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution)

  • Trevorhill171's Avatar
    I recieved a NIP dated 1st April for an alleged offence on the 14th March is it valid? I make that 16 days after the alleged offence with 1st class post I recieved the 2nd April 17 days
    Last edited by Mark07; 13-05-24 at 09:23. Reason: expanded title
  • 24 Replies

  • Best Answer

    Santa's Avatar
    Best Answer
    @Trevorhill171 Careless or inconsiderate driving does not imply that there was a collision. Someone reported you, possibly with video from a dashcam for something that the police considered warranted a charge.


    The NIP would have been sent to the Registered Keeper within the 14 days. They have 6 months to reply, saying that you were the driver on the date of the offence and there can be a further 6 months before it is returned to you.

    You now have to return the NIP and admit that you were driving at that time. You may well get an offer (depending on where you live) of accepting a fine and (possibly) points, accepting an awareness course and no points, or contesting the charge at the magistrates court.

    You should also inform your insurance company.
    Last edited by Santa; 10-05-24 at 07:48.
  • TC1474's Avatar
    Check the post mark on the envelope.

    As you are aware it has to be issued within 14 days of the alleged offence (unless it is a verbal NIP) and it must be sent out with sufficient time for it to be capable of being delivered within the 14 day period.

    So if as you say it was dated 16 days after the alleged offence (even 14 or 15 days) then it is not valid and the offence has to be disregarded.

    Once it is posted it is deemed as having been served even though you may not see it for several more days or weeks, but it is the date that the NIP is dated and sent that is key.

    You have a statutory defence
  • Trevorhill171's Avatar
    @TC1474 Thank you I thought what I had read was correct, The NIP stated date of the alleged offence was 14th March 2024, The date on the NIP was dated 1st April, it also stated First Class Post, I had to check as I was told at the police station it's 14 days from the date of the NIP
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    @Trevorhill171
    What is the alleged offence? Many offences don't require a NIP, and so are not subject to the 14-day rule?

    Are you the registered keeper, i.e. are your name and address on the V5C (logbook)?

    Even if the NIP was late, the s172 notice included is still valid. You must reply, naming the driver.

    The only way for the driver to defend the charge on the basis of a late NIP will be to go to court, ignoring any offers of fixed penalties or a course. What evidence of late delivery can you offer?
  • Trevorhill171's Avatar
    @Beelzebub the alleged offence is careless or inconsiderate driving, this was a hired car from Europcar mine was in the workshop. As you know Europcar inspect the car before delivery, and again on return, the hired car was passed on return and photos taken, with no damage, photos were sent to me for reference, no additional charges. Europcar sent me the original NIP, which was dated as stated, but via a phone conversation they did recieve the NIP on the 2nd April.
  • Trevorhill171's Avatar
    @Santa I understand that the registered keep must be served with the NIP within 14 days, but the alleged offence took place on the 14th March 2024 the nip wad dated 1st April 2024 that's 16 days after the alleged offence and was recivied by the registered keeper on the 2nd April 2024.
  • Trevorhill171's Avatar
    @Santa I have returned the NIP and said I was the driver but I contest that the NIP was even sent within the 14 days as it was dated 1st April, which is 16 days after the incidnet.
  • Santa's Avatar
    I am a little puzzled by the timeline. The original NIP would have gone to the RK who would have returned it completed. How do you know when it was posted and received by them?

    If you are convinced you can challenge it, I suggest you go to a well-known website that will give you accurate legal advice, unlike my amateur efforts.

    http://www.pepipoo.com/

    You will have to register but it's free and they do not generate spam.
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    @Beelzebub the alleged offence is careless or inconsiderate driving, this was a hired car from Europcar mine was in the workshop. As you know Europcar inspect the car before delivery, and again on return, the hired car was passed on return and photos taken, with no damage, photos were sent to me for reference, no additional charges. Europcar sent me the original NIP, which was dated as stated, but via a phone conversation they did recieve the NIP on the 2nd April.
    How do you know that was the original NIP? AIUI many (most?) hire companies lease their cars, in which case the RK might well be a finance company.

    Also, the 14-day rule does not apply in cases where an accident occurred. The driver may be alleged to have caused or contributed to the accident without actually having collided with anything.
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    What is being used to accuse you of the offence. Was it from a video, were you stopped by the police?
    The NIP has to state the offence as well as the date and place so there must be evidence somewhere, and careless driving covers a very broad range of offences;

    • overtaking on the inside
    • driving too close to another vehicle
    • driving through a red light by mistake
    • turning into the path of another vehicle
    • the driver being avoidably distracted by tuning the radio, lighting a cigarette etc
    • flashing lights to force other drivers to give way
    • misusing lanes to gain advantage over other drivers
    • unnecessarily staying in an overtaking lane
    • unnecessarily slow driving or braking
    • dazzling other drivers with un-dipped headlights
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    What is being used to accuse you of the offence. Was it from a video, were you stopped by the police?
    The NIP has to state the offence as well as the date and place so there must be evidence somewhere, and careless driving covers a very broad range of offences;
    If the OP had been stopped by the police, he would almost certainly have been warned of prosecution, so no NIP required.
    As you say, the NIP must state the offence, time and place (and VRM), but nothing else. The police don't have to reveal any evidence or details at this stage.
  • TC1474's Avatar
    What is being used to accuse you of the offence. Was it from a video, were you stopped by the police?
    The NIP has to state the offence as well as the date and place so there must be evidence somewhere, and careless driving covers a very broad range of offences;


    An NIP is just as it says on the tin "A Notice"

    It is not saying that anyone will be prosecuted, it is in effect advising that further enquiries are being made an d that someone "May" be prosecuted for the alleged offence as stated. There is no requirement for any evidence to be disclosed at this stage because there may be no evidence, it comes down to the fact that there is an allegation and the driver is being notified that a prosecution may follow. It is called procedure and it must be followed for any subsequent prosecution to have any success of a conviction.

    The offences that require and NIP are

    • dangerous driving.
    • careless and inconsiderate driving.
    • failing to stop after an accident and/or to report an accident.
    • speeding.
    • Failing to conform to an obligatory traffic sign
    • Careless or dangerous cycling


    If the NIP is not given verbally at the time of the alleged offence, then a written NIP is required and this is where people spout myths and misinformation.

    The time limit for a written warning is 14 days from the date of the offence.

    It is important to note, however, that it is only the registered keeper that is required to receive such a warning within 14 days. For example, if a vehicle is leased, the leasing company (lessor) will be the registered keeper or in the event it is a company vehicle than it is they who must receive the warning within 14 days.

    The lessor or company should then identify the driver (lessee or employee) and so it is common, therefore, for the driver to receive his own warning after the 14 days has elapsed, but this does not invalidate the warning. If, however, the driver is the registered keeper and receives a written Section 1 warning after 14 days have elapsed then the prosecution against the driver may be fatally flawed.

    The NIP must be sent with sufficient time for it to have a reasonable chance of arriving within 14 days of the alleged offence (hence why I said in my earlier post that the postmark is as important as the date on the NIP itself) Once it is posted, it is deemed as having been served, so provided it is sent within this reasonable time period, even it arrives several weeks later because of a failure by the post office, it remains valid.

    If the date shows that it was unlikely or incapable of being delivered within the 14 days, then there is the statutory defence.

    Undertaking is not an offence therefore no NIP is required unless..... It constitutes a section 2 or section 3 offence (dangerous or carless) which very often is insufficient on its own to fall into that category (on a Motorway for example)
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    But the OP hadn't given any specific details of the alleged offence, which is what I was asking, and that careless driving is a very broad category of offences.
    I understand the 14 day notice and that the notice goes to the registered keeper, in this case the rental company, but did they receive it within the 14 days, was it sent to head office or the office who actually rented out the car and did they identify the driver within 28 days?
    And don't forget it's up to the OP to show that the rental company didn't get notice within the 14 days, not that he didn't get the notice in time
    But so far it's all guesswork until the OP gives more information especially as the OP went to great pains to explain that the rental company found no damage to the car.
  • TC1474's Avatar
    But the OP hadn't given any specific details of the alleged offence, which is what I was asking, and that careless driving is a very broad category of offences.
    I understand the 14 day notice and that the notice goes to the registered keeper, in this case the rental company, but did they receive it within the 14 days, was it sent to head office or the office who actually rented out the car and did they identify the driver within 28 days?
    .

    An offence will be specified on the original NIP. If it is just a section 3, this is very broad and wide ranging under the heading of careless driving and so specific details are not required other than a broad description (careless driving for example) and the date and location of the alleged offence.

    All NIP's are sent to the registered keeper. The 14 day rule applies, and if the registered keeper was not the driver, then it is still deemed as having been served even though the driver may not know about his indiscretion for several days or weeks after the event.

    So if the NIP only states Careless driving, that is is sufficient for the NIP

    It is only under the rules of disclosure should it go to court that more specific details must be disclosed.

    If it is a company owned or rented vehicle and they do not disclose the name and address of the driver that is a stand alone offence under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, but it does not exonerate the driver from any alleged offences committed that required and NIP to be issued in the first place

    But in the case of the OP, the fact that the NIP was dated 16 days after the date of the alleged offence and he made no mention that he was in anything other than his own vehicle, then his statutory defence remains
  • Mark07's Avatar
    Community Manager
    I have returned the NIP and said I was the driver but I contest that the NIP was even sent within the 14 days as it was dated 1st April, which is 16 days after the incidnet.

    Hi Trevorhill171,

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    We'd love to hear the outcome and understand how the community was able to help. The advice will be able to help others who may be in a similar scenario in the future.
  • Trevorhill171's Avatar
    An offence will be specified on the original NIP. If it is just a section 3, this is very broad and wide ranging under the heading of careless driving and so specific details are not required other than a broad description (careless driving for example) and the date and location of the alleged offence.

    All NIP's are sent to the registered keeper. The 14 day rule applies, and if the registered keeper was not the driver, then it is still deemed as having been served even though the driver may not know about his indiscretion for several days or weeks after the event.

    So if the NIP only states Careless driving, that is is sufficient for the NIP

    It is only under the rules of disclosure should it go to court that more specific details must be disclosed.

    If it is a company owned or rented vehicle and they do not disclose the name and address of the driver that is a stand alone offence under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, but it does not exonerate the driver from any alleged offences committed that required and NIP to be issued in the first place

    But in the case of the OP, the fact that the NIP was dated 16 days after the date of the alleged offence and he made no mention that he was in anything other than his own vehicle, then his statutory defence remains

    I was in a hired car from Europcar, it was alleged that on the 14th March 2024 on the nip it stated Careless or inconsiderate driving. The notice of intended prosecution was sent to registered keeper , The registered keeper forwarded the NIP and the section 172 form direct to me, I returned to section 172 form naming the driver, but I noticed the NIP was dated 1st April 2024. So the Original NIP was dated 1st April 2024 that is 16 days after the incident. A further section 172 has been sent to me requesting conformation that the driver named was the driver, this has also been returned. But on the second section 172 it stated that the car was in a collision with another vehicle and I failed to stop or report the accident within 24 hours. Now as many of you know if you Rent a car from Europcar they inspect it very closely, on return of the car which was the 27th March 2024 it passed the whole inspection and was photographed inside and out, the car showed no damage, I have the copy of the return report and photos.
  • TC1474's Avatar
    @Trevorhill171

    You were involved in a fatality?

    Section 1 is Causing death by dangerous driving.

    Your statutory defence to the NIP still stands. As I have already mentioned, it has to be sent to the registered keeper in sufficient time to have a reasonable chance f being delivered within the 14 day statutory period.

    If it was sent to Europcar 16 days after the alleged offence, then your defence still stands and it would matter not how long after it was sent to you, the first notification to the registered keeper is out of time.
  • Trevorhill171's Avatar
    Here is a copy of the NIP I have hidden some details Name:  20240422_091059cc.jpg
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  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    Here is a copy of the NIP I have hidden some details Name:  20240422_091059cc.jpg
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Size:  77.7 KB
    Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (which is mentioned) requires a NIP to be sent in certain circumstances.

    Careless or inconsiderate driving.is an offence under Section 3 of a different act - the Road Traffic Act 1988 . Some forces would specify that on the NIP, but it seems yours do not, hence some confusion.

    FWIW the NIP I received this morning from the Met did indeed tell me which Act I had (allegedly) transgressed.
  • Trevorhill171's Avatar
    Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (which is mentioned) requires a NIP to be sent in certain circumstances.

    Careless or inconsiderate driving.is an offence under Section 3 of a different act - the Road Traffic Act 1988 . Some forces would specify that on the NIP, but it seems yours do not, hence some confusion.

    FWIW the NIP I received this morning from the Met did indeed tell me which Act I had (allegedly) transgressed.
    But did you notice the dates?
  • TC1474's Avatar
    Here is a copy of the NIP I have hidden some details Name:  20240422_091059cc.jpg
Views: 131
Size:  77.7 KB

    Right, that now makes sense. To those of us in the profession, section 1 is usually a section 1 of the Road Traffic Act, but Road Traffic Offenders act now makes sense, its just a different section 1.

    Rules I stated still apply. You have a statutory defence against prosecution

    Allegation of an offence of careless driving has been made, NIP is required.

    Said NIP must be sent to the registered keeper within 14 days and set in sufficient time to stand a chance of arriving within said 14 days. If the NIP is dated outside the 14 days and/or it is sent outside the 14 days, protocols have not been complied with, simples!
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    But did you notice the dates?
    Yes, but there is nothing there to confirm that it was the first NIP.
  • Trevorhill171's Avatar
    Yes, but there is nothing there to confirm that it was the first NIP.
    only the dates