Personal Law

Receiving a notice of intended prosecution: What to do

Estimated read time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, February 07, 2020

A notice of intended prosecution is a notice from the police informing you that you’ve committed a motoring offence. The majority of these are speeding or red light offences.

It can be intimidating to receive one of these notices, so we’ve put together this guide to help you work out what to do.

What is a notice of intended prosecution?

You will receive a notice of intended prosecution if your car has been seen committing an offence and you are the registered keeper. You may not have been driving at the time, but as the car is registered to you, you’ll receive the notice.

It is a warning that you may face prosecution for the offence. It doesn’t mean that you will certainly face prosecution.

The Bedfordshire Police Force explains that a fine and points on your driving licence are mandatory for exceeding the speed limit or contravening a red light. Motoring offences are serious, due to the associated potential for road traffic accidents.

What happens if I ignore the notice?

Within 14 days of your car being caught speeding you’ll be sent a notice of intended prosecution and a section 172 notice. You will have to return the section 172 notice within 28 days, stating who was driving the car at the time of the offence.

Failing to respond to the notice means the issue will be referred to the Magistrates’ Courts. This will be for failing to provide the required information, as well as for the original offence.

Once the case is at court, the offence of failing to provide the required information can result in a fine of up to £1000, six penalty points on your driving licence and/or disqualification from driving.

Disputing a notice of intended prosecution

You may feel that you’re entitled to dispute the notice. You are legally required to respond to it after receiving the notice, but doing so is not an admission of guilt. If you do think you have a case against the offence, the best thing to do is speak to a lawyer. They’ll have the experience and knowledge you need to give yourself the best chance of defending yourself against the notice.

A notice of intended prosecution has to be sent within 14 days of the offence. If you receive the notice after this point, the case will likely not proceed to court. However, if it was sent to the address that the DVLA has on file for you within that period, but you no longer live there, the notice will still be valid. In fact, you can then be fined up to £1,000 for not updating your address with the DVLA.

Some of the more effective defences include:

  • Proving that you were not the driver caught committing the offence
  • Speed cameras malfunctioning
  • Time limits expiring
  • Signage was unclear or unidentifiable

If you need help with presenting you defence to a notice of intended prosecution, get in touch with First4Lawyers to find out how we can help. Just give us a call, request a call back or make an enquiry here.

You may not realise that you have a defence until you have discussed your case with an experienced solicitor.

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