What you need to know about failing to furnish
A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is the document issued by the Police asking for the identity of a driver following an alleged motoring offence. The NIP is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days of the alleged offence being committed. If a request for details of the driver is sent out to the registered keeper or nominated driver of a vehicle and that person does not respond or is unable to provide the name and address of the driver, then a prosecution for failure to furnish information under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is likely to follow.
The offence can be committed in two ways – either as the keeper of the vehicle under Section 172 (2) (a) of the Road Traffic Act or as a person other than the keeper under Section 172 (2) (b). If the NIP is addressed to you, then you have 28 days to respond to it. If you fail to name the person who was driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence within 28 days, then you will be charged with failing to furnish information.
Penalties for failing to furnish
Motorists found guilty of failing to furnish will receive an automatic penalty of 6 points on their driving licence, along with a fine of up to £1,000. Furthermore, those extra points on a driving licence could result in a ban under the totting up procedure leading to a disqualification from driving for 6 months. If you rely on your vehicle for work, this could seriously affect your livelihood through loss of learnings and lead to substantial increases in insurance premiums when you reapply for your licence.
For new drivers who have passed their test within the last two years, a conviction of this offence will almost certainly lead to the revocation of your driving licence under the New Driver Act by the DVLA. If this happens, then the driver will not be allowed to drive unsupervised until they reapply for their provisional licence and pass their theory and practical tests again. If a company is prosecuted the offence cannot result in penalty points and will only carry a fine of up to £1,000.
The number of penalty points for failing to provide information is often greater than for the offence for which the information is sought. Therefore, if you face a charge of failing to furnish, then it makes total sense to seek expert legal advice in the first instance to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.
Sentencing guidelines for failing to furnish
Under the court’s sentencing guidelines, failing to give information of a driver’s identity as required will result in:
- A starting point of a Band C Fine of up £1,000
- 6 penalty points
- For limited companies, endorsement is not available. A fine is the only available penalty
Defending a failure to furnish offence
Whether you have received a notice of intended prosecution, or you have been the recipient of a summons to answer an allegation of failing to furnish information, all is not lost. At PDA Law we have successfully defended numerous motorists who have faced these charges. The law surrounding this issue is complex and all too often the correct procedure is not followed. The NIP must comply with some statutory requirements including the identification, location and date of the offence. Sufficient information must be provided to enable the driver to understand exactly what they are supposed to have done.
Therefore, if the NIP has not been completed properly, it could mislead and prejudice a defence. Checking the date of your NIP is also paramount. If yours is issued later than the set 14-day period, you will certainly escape prosecution. We would always advise you to check the date stamp on the envelope if you believe it may have arrived outside of the 14-day period. A motorist can only be convicted if the procedure has been followed to the letter. However, you must always respond to the NIP.
If you have received an NIP, you are legally obliged to identify the driver of the vehicle. You must do this within 28 days and if you fail to do so you will have committed a further offence for which your licence can be endorsed with 6 penalty points and a fine of £1,000. If you absolutely cannot be sure who was driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence, then it may be that you have a defence of reasonable diligence.
The evidential requirements for this type of defence are high. However, if you can show that it was reasonably impossible for you to identify who was driving at the relevant time then you should not plead guilty to this offence. If accepted, the court will clear you of any blame. Whilst proving this type of defence is not straightforward, an expert member of our team will be able to advise you on the chances of your success.
Contact PDA Law
Through contacting PDA Law about failing to furnish, you can find out exactly where you legally stand. As we offer a free, no obligation meeting, as well as a no win, no fee service where appropriate, you can proceed without financial risk throughout the process.
To receive tailored advice from our expert driving offence solicitors, contact a dedicated member of our team today by calling 01244 373373. Alternatively, fill out our online contact form and we will call you back at a time that is convenient for you.