Under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 before certain offences can be prosecuted:
- A person must have been warned of the possibility of that prosecution at the time the offence was committed; or
- The person must be served with a summons or charged with the offence within 14 days of its commission; or
- Within 14 days of the commission of the offence, a notice of intended prosecution specifying the nature of the alleged offence and the time and place where it is alleged to have been committed, must be sent to the person or the registered keeper of the vehicle
The offences where a notice of intended prosecution must be sent include:
- Speeding (including motorway offences and temporary speeding restrictions)
- Dangerous driving
- Careless and inconsiderate driving
- Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position
- Failure to comply with traffic directions
- Failure to comply with traffic signs
If, at the time of the offence or immediately afterwards you were involved in an accident, there is no requirement for a notice of intended prosecution. Your knowledge that there was an accident is considered notification that an offence was committed.
If you receive a notice of intended prosecution you should seek advice from specialist motor offence solicitors immediately. It is not uncommon for the notice to be incorrect either in its content or in the manner or timeframe it was sent to you. If it is defective, then this could provide you with a defence to the original offence.
You must still give the details of the driver as requested however. Even if the notice is defective a failure to provide the identity of the driver could lead to prosecution of that offence.
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