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Archive for the ‘Fail To Disclose Driver’s Details’ Category

Failing To Disclose Driver’s Details – Case Dropped!

Matilda Swanwick was delighted this week to receive the news from Forrest Williams that her charge of failing to notify driver’s details had been discontinued.

Following a lengthy period of liaison with the police authority in the area where she had been driving, and where she had unfortunately committed a minor speeding offence, a decision was taken by a senior officer at the police’s criminal justice unit to withdraw the charge against her.

Matilda had explained to us that, whilst she did not dispute the fact that she had been speeding, she had not received a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) to which she could respond.

Initially, the police authority argued that as it had been issued it was assumed to have been received. Matilda told us, however, that she had not received either the original or the reminder NIP and that she was very organised with her paperwork. She insisted she would have responded immediately, accepting the offer of a fixed penalty notice, had she received notification of the speeding offence.

On this basis, Forrest Williams asked if a speeding charge could be laid out of time, to which Matilda would plead guilty, and the failing to notify driver’s details charge be withdrawn. Some consideration was given to this request, before it was agreed to.

Matilda is very happy with this outcome as she did not intend to avoid the penalty for speeding and accepts the consequences for her actions on the date in question. There is also a difference in terms of penalty points – the speeding offence means she will have 3 points endorsed to her licence, whilst the failing to notify driver’s details charge would have meant 6 points.

In addition, we have asked that the court treat the speeding offence as if it were a fixed penalty on the day of the hearing, in order to avoid additional costs for Matilda.

Once again, Forrest Williams are happy to report that pre-court liaison has resulted in a positive outcome for a valued client.

If you have been charged with failing to disclose driver’s details, or another motoring offence, call our expert team now for a free initial review of your case on 01623 397200.

Client Charged With Failing To Notify Driver’s Details Has Case Dropped

Debbie Viner first approached Forrest Williams when she received a summons for a charge of failing to notify driver’s details, which related to a minor speeding offence.

Debbie told us that when she received the notice of intended prosecution (NIP) paperwork several months ago, she had replied immediately with the response that the driver on the date in question could have been either herself or her husband. The road mentioned on the NIP was one they both travelled regularly, and they both shared use of the same car. She had, she told us, made all reasonable checks to try and find out who the driver was, but had drawn a blank.

Debbie told us that she was not willing to nominate a driver, without being sure of the identity, as there had been several high-profile cases in the news recently where it had become clear that the person nominated was not actually the driver on the date in question.

Forrest Williams agreed to liaise with the authorities on Debbie’s behalf, setting out her case and detailing the steps she had taken to try and identify the driver. In fact, Debbie had contacted the police on several occasions with a request for photographic evidence, in the hope that this might help her to identify the driver. No reply was ever received.

After a protracted period of liaison that saw a not guilty plea entered, and the trial date approaching rapidly, a decision was finally taken by a Senior Crown Prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service to discontinue the charge on the basis of lack of evidence.

It should be noted that the decision to discontinue was made just three days before the trial was due to be heard.

Although a little too close for comfort, a late decision is not unusual when liaising with the CPS. Forrest Williams have much experience of how to conduct these negotiations and would therefore encourage anyone worried about a charge of failing to notify driver’s details to contact them immediately on 01623 600645. It may be possible to argue your case and avoid the need for additional fees as a result of attendance at court.

Debbie was overjoyed about the outcome and said she would recommend the services of Forrest Williams to anyone in a similar position. She said she would not have had the confidence to liaise with the authorities, or known who to contact. As this particular example shows, negotiations can escalate from conversations with the police to the senior ranks of the CPS before a decision is made. Having the confidence and professional skills to liaise at this level are key to getting the best outcome.

If you have been charged with failing to disclose driver’s details, call our expert team now on 01623 397200 for a free review of your case.

I Have Received A Notice of Intended Prosecution – What Should I Do?

I have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution. What do I have to do next?


Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act is aimed at forcing individuals (whether they are the registered keeper on the V5 document, or the driver of the vehicle on the date in question) to provide the identity of the driver at the time of an alleged road traffic offence.


The legislation was introduced as many traffic offences are detected by un-manned devices, or identified by officers who do not actually speak to the driver. For this reason, it was accepted that the police needed to have a way to force individuals to provide driver details, if they were able to do this. 


A notice of intended prosecution (known as a NIP, or a S172 notice) is served on a person, either verbally at the time if they are stopped by police, or soon after an alleged offence has been committed, to make them aware that they may be prosecuted.


Receiving a NIP does not mean that you will definitely (or automatically) be prosecuted, but it acts as a warning that this may happen.


Nominating yourself – or another person – as the driver at the time of an alleged offence is not an admission of guilt. If a person is charged, they have the right to defend the charge in the usual way. 


The NIP has to be served on the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days of the offence, otherwise the matter would not be able to proceed at court.


If the driver’s identity is not known, then the NIP is sent to the registered keeper. Whether the NIP is sent to the driver or the registered keeper, as long as the form is sent out within 14 days then it is valid.


If the registered keeper has changed their address, or not informed DVLA about a change of circumstances, etc, then as long as the NIP arrived at the address on record for the registered keeper within 14 days it is still valid. The registered keeper then has a legal obligation to do everything within their power to identify the driver.


The driver may receive further paperwork in due course, but this should not be confused with the NIP, which is legally required to be sent within 14 days.


NIPs can, as mentioned, be issued verbally to the driver at the time of the offence, or, alternatively, you could receive a court summons through the post for the alleged offence within the 14 days.


Small errors on the NIP do not render it invalid, unless such mistakes would mislead the potential defendant.


A NIP shall be deemed to have been served on a person if it was posted to her/him at their last known address, even if the NIP was returned as undelivered, or was for any other reason not received by her/him. The posted NIP is deemed to be served until the contrary is shown.


It is important that the NIP/S172 notice is completed and returned within the 28 day time limit, even if the form arrives outside of its own 14 day time limit. If the boxes on the form do not allow you to give an appropriate response, you should complete the form as far as you can and attach a covering letter before returning it.


If you were not the driver of the vehicle on the date in question, you should name the driver if you can. If there are several possible drivers, you should name them all and give contact details. If you are unable to name the driver, you should explain why (ie detail what checks you have made).


As many of the completed forms appear to go missing in the post, it is best to copy the completed form for your records, and then return by recorded delivery to ensure it is received.


You may then hear nothing more about the alleged offence or receive either a conditional offer of fixed penalty or a summons to court, depending on the nature of the alleged offence and the number of points on your driving licence at the time.


If you do not complete and return the NIP/S172 notice correctly within the 28 day time limit, you face a separate charge of failing to notify driver’s details, which is a 6 penalty point offence with a fine of up to £1,000.  For this reason, it is best to seek legal advice before completing a Notice of Intended Prosecution.


Forrest Williams offer a fixed fee service whereby we review your situation and guide you through correct completion of the Notice of Intended Prosecution.


If you have been charged with failing to notify driver’s details, please contact us on 01623 397200 so we can offer you free advice.  





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