Notice of Intended Prosecution
If you have received a warning, summons or notice of intended prosecution in relation to a traffic offence and need legal help then we are here to listen and advise you – contact us today.
Section 1(1) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 requires that for certain specified offences you must have been warned at the time the offence was committed of the possibility of prosecution, served with a summons within 14 days of the commission of the offence or served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution within 14 days of the commission of the offence or alternatively such a Notice must have been served on the Registered Keeper.
Some of the offences covered by section 1(1) are:
- Most speeding offences
- Dangerous Driving (s2 RTA 1988)
- Careless or Inconsiderate Driving (s3 RTA 1988)
- Failing to comply with Traffic Signs and Traffic Directions (s35 and 36 RTA 1988)
If these requirements are not met any related prosecution must be dismissed. However, the law presumes that the Police will comply with the 1988 Act, so if there is any dispute you will need to prove non-compliance by calling evidence (section 1(3) of the Act).
Any warning of the possibility of prosecution can be given orally. It does not have to be in writing. However it does have to be given “at the time of the offence” although this can be some time after the alleged offence was committed. If there is a dispute it is for you, the driver, to establish that the delay between the time of the offence and the warning is unjustified or unreasonable.
A Notice of Intended Prosecution should be served personally by delivering it to the recipient, by addressing it to the recipient and leaving it at his last known address or by sending it by registered post, recorded delivery service or first class post, addressed to the recipient at his last known address.
Notice may be given either to the registered keeper or the driver. If given to the keeper the identity of the person who is to be prosecuted does not need to be given in the Notice.
The police do not have to comply with the requirements of section 1(1) if neither the name and address of the accused nor the name and address of the keeper, if any, could with reasonable diligence have been ascertained in time for a summons or notice to be served or sent; or the accused by his own conduct contributed to the Notice not being sent out.
The comments above are general and should not be taken as a definitive statement of the law or procedure. Expert advice should always be sought on this area. We have not attempted to cover all the obligations or legal requirements that may arise.