Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)

A Notice of Intended Prosecution is simply a warning to a driver that they are going to be prosecuted for a driving offence.

Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) FAQ

A: A Notice of Intended Prosecution is issued to the last known registered keeper of a vehicle that has been detected committing an alleged driving offence.

Identifying the driver of the vehicle

If you are the registered keeper of the vehicle then you need to identify the driver under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act. You may be tempted to think if the notice of intended prosecution is not delivered by personal service or recorded delivery then the Crown won’t be able to prove that you received it. This would be a mistake, as the Crown has other ways of proving they in fact did serve the notice. They have a log, they note down details of the notice, who sent it out and the High Court Scotland have ruled that is sufficient evidence. If you fail to name driver (s172) then you carry a higher penalty of 6 penalty points and generally a higher fine.

If there is a mistake on a ticket that a Police Officer gave me is that something I can rely on in court?

Generally speaking no. A ticket is simply an offer to sort the matter out without it going to court. A ticket can be thought of as saying “if you accept this 2 penalty points and £50 fine it won’t go any further”. Errors can be very important but generally only if you decide not to pay for the ticket. If a Police Officer noted wrong registration details you may be able to rely on it at court.

How long does the prosecution have to bring a case against me?

One important time limit is when you are detected by a roadside camera or police camera van then you’ll receive a letter in the post. This letter is required to be with you within 14 days of the alleged offence. If you haven’t received the NIP within 14 days this is not necessarily the end of the matter. If the vehicle is leased or a company vehicle then the time limit doesn’t exist in relation to that type of situation. The 14-day time limit is for the registered keeper of the vehicle.

Another time limit is a 6-month time limit for speeding/using phone/running red light/careless driving offences. These 6 months are from the date of the alleged offence until the date Procurator Fiscal has sent the letter. This is important because people may feel that being out of the country for a few weeks means they can’t have papers served on them. In actual fact, this doesn’t make any difference at all because the COPFS can ultimately prove they sent the papers out within 6 month period.

Notice of Intended Prosecution lawyers

If you have been served a Notice of Intended Prosecution then you should contact our road traffic lawyers immediately. Our specialist lawyers have years of experience having dealt with 100s of cases with a high success rate. Legal aid Scotland may be able to help in your case, one of our lawyers will explain to you how you can afford representation.