My name is spelt incorrectly on a Notice of Intended Prosecution. My name is Stephen and it is spelt Steven on the Notice. Is it valid? Can I ignore/reject it as being invalid? Can the Police still proceed with a prosecution?
If you ignore the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) the Police will issue a Summons for failing to identify. At Court, the Magistrates will consider whether you genuinely believed that the Notice was intended for another party and if so, what action you took to return the Notice on that basis. If the Magistrates take the view that you are attempting to use a typing error as a technical defence, you will probably be convicted for failing to identify which will result in 6 penalty points.
The Police inevitably use information that is supplied by the DVLA and if that information is incorrect, the Police will not be criticised for being unaware of an error. Likewise, the Police will always have the option to amend clerical errors at Court. In most circumstances, it is obvious who the Notice is for and you should therefore provide the information requested in order to avoid prosecution for a more serious offence.
I was stopped by the Police and told that I would receive a Fixed Penalty for speeding. I have in fact now received a Court Summons. Why did I not get a Fixed Penalty?
The option to resolve an offence by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice is at the discretion of the Police. If the Officer stops you, that is the opportunity for the Fixed Penalty to be issued. If it is not issued at the scene, it is extremely unlikely that you will receive a conditional offer as the Police Officer has clearly decided that the matter is too serious to be resolved by way of the Fixed Penalty process. There is no obligation upon the Police to offer a Fixed Penalty and if you leave the scene without a conditional offer in your hand, it is inevitable that a Summons will be issued.
I have been caught speeding by a mobile unit parked at the bottom of a steep hill just in front of a speed limit sign. It seems to me that the Police are trying to ambush motorists at this location. Can I defend/contest the allegation on that basis?
Whilst you may not like the location chosen by the Police, that does not mean that there is a viable defence. The only issue the Court will be interested in is whether you exceeded the speed limit. The Police will justify the position of the van on the basis that offences are committed at that location. The Court will expect drivers to take into account any gradient when monitoring their speed so if the speed alleged is accurate, the case will be proved.
I was caught speeding by the Police and stopped at the time of the offence. Do the Police have to show me video evidence at the scene? If this is a requirement and was not carried out, can I overturn the prosecution?
Although the ACPO Guidelines indicate that the Police should show you evidence at the scene wherever possible, there is actually no statutory requirement for them to do so and if they choose not to, it does not prevent a prosecution.
I recieved a Notice of Intended Prosecution for my company car 14 days after the offence. Do I have to supply details?FAQ
I recieved a Notice of Intended Prosecution in respect of my company car 14 days after the offence. As I’ve received the NIP outside the mandatory 14 day notification period, do I have to supply details of the driver?
There is a great deal of confusion about time limits for the receipt of a Notice of Intended Prosecution. The only obligation on the part of the Police is to serve the Notice on the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days of the offence. The registered keeper is the person and/or company whose details are held on the DVLA database. As this is a company car, the likelihood is that the registered keeper is either your employer or the lease company who supplied the vehicle. In those circumstances, you need to see a copy of the NIP that was sent to them as the likelihood is, it was served within 14 days and therefore valid. In those circumstances, you must reply to the Notice served on you and failure to do so is a further offence.
I was stopped by the police on the motorway for speeding over 100 mph. I was given a producer and told I would receive a Court Summons in due course but it has now been over 2 months since the incident and I’ve not heard anything. Should I chase the Police? Is it possible that the Police Officer has decided not to process the paperwork? He told me I faced a driving ban and that I would have to go to Court. How long does it normally take for the Police to contact you?
The Police have 6 months to commence proceedings and do not have to contact you at any stage before then. In our experience, many forces diary cases for 5 months and 2 weeks, so the lack of progress at this stage does not suggest that they will not proceed. There is no point contacting the Police; it will only prompt them into life. If you do nothing, there is a slight chance that they will fail to progress the case in time.
I have received two Fixed Penalty Notices within days of each other. Will I be able to accept the two conditional offers, send and receive my driving licence back in time to meet the time limits?
You have 28 days in which to accept conditional offers. If they have been issued by the same Process Unit, you can send them together. If the Fixed Penalties are from different Police Authorities, you should send off the first one, but put in a note that you require the licence returned promptly. If the licence is not returned within the 28 days, you should contact the other Authority explain the situation, and ask them to extend the time for acceptance. Most will co-operate in this respect.
My word against Police Officer’s that I was using a mobile phone whilst driving, will the case be dropped?FAQ
I was stopped by the Police who have accused me of using a mobile phone whilst driving. However I was not using the phone, I simply picked the phone up and moved it. It is therefore my word against the Police Officer’s. However, if I can produce a bill to prove that I was not using the phone, will the case against me be dropped?
You do not have to be speaking on the phone to be convicted. “Using” the phone can be as simple as moving it or holding it. The Police do not have to prove that a call was being made. Although it is for the Officer to satisfy the Court that you contradicted the regulations, just because it is your word against his does not mean that the Court will find in your favour. At the very minimum, you will need to put reasonable doubt in the mind of the Justices in order to dismiss the case.
How do I find out if a calibration certificate for a speed camera has expired? I cannot afford the points on my licence and therefore want to know if there is a way I can avoid penalty points.
You are entitled to see the calibration certificate for a speed camera. This should identify the make, model and serial number for the camera and prove that it has been calibrated within 12 months of the alleged offence. It may be that the Police refuse to disclose this information before a Summons has been issued and strictly speaking, there is no obligation for them to assist before then. However, most Police forces will provide information upon request.
I was pulled over by the Police and failed a breath test after I ended up behind the wheel whilst under emotional distress. Will I definitely lose my licence from drink driving? If I do lose my licence, I will lose my job and therefore could not meet my financial commitments. Do I have any other options?
The minimum punishment upon conviction is a 12 month ban. Although the Court does have discretion, a ban is for all intents and purposes compulsory. The duration of the disqualification does depend upon the circumstances of the incident and in particular the alcohol reading. At the Court’s discretion, you may be offered the opportunity to attend a drink driving rehabilitation course which once completed, can reduce the period of a ban by 25%. Loss of job is not a reason to justify avoiding disqualification. The stronger the mitigation you put forward, the better your outcome will be.