Paperwork and legal procedure for driving offences

Legal Procedure & Paperwork

What is the procedure if caught by camera?

If you have not been stopped at the time of the offence, the Police must serve a Notice of Intended Prosecution on the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days of the incident. Once in receipt of the Notice of Intended Prosecution, the recipient has 28 days in which to reply and identify a driver.

Subject to the speed alleged, the Police will either:

  • Offer a speed awareness course

    They would normally allow 28 days to accept the offer and up to 90 days for the driver to attend the course.

  • Offer a Fixed Penalty

  • 3 points / £100 fine and allow 28 days for acceptance.

  • Refer the case to Court

    The Court process must be commenced within 6 months, either by asking the Court to issue a Summons or Postal Requisition, or by arranging for a Single Justice Procedure Notice to be authorised. It is important to note that the driver does not have to receive the process in 6 months, the Police merely have to take the first steps to start the process in that time.

What is the procedure if stopped by the Police?

If you are stopped by the Police at the time of the offence, there is no obligation upon them to serve a Notice of Intended Prosecution or issue any paperwork. Some Police forces will supply a Road Traffic Offence Notice which sets out the nature of the allegation, but there is no requirement to do so and most Police forces will only give a verbal clarification that further action will be taken. Having provided that verbal Notice of Intended Prosecution (i.e. told you of the nature of the offence and that action will be taken) the matter can be progressed, at the discretion of the Police either by a speed awareness course, Fixed Penalty or referred to Court. For offences regarded as too serious for a speed awareness course or Fixed Penalty, in all probability the next communication you will receive will be the Court papers.

What if I already have 9 points?

If you have 9 valid points at the time of the offence, you should still be able to attend a speed awareness course if offered, provided that you have not attend a course in the previous 3 years. If the speed is to high for a course, you cannot accept a Fixed Penalty, so the case will be referred to Court.

Do the Police have to prove the offence when they stop me?

No. All the Police have to do is advise you of the allegation, inform you of your rights and that action will be taken. Although nowadays, most Police vehicles are fitted with video or other equipment, and indeed it is recommended that the accused is shown evidence at the scene, there is no obligation to do so.

Do I have to say anything to the Police when stopped?

Your obligation is to confirm your identity and if you do not own the vehicle, confirm who it does belong to and confirm the insurance arrangements. Thereafter, you do not have to provide further information, but as the Police will no doubt point out, if you do not say anything, it may harm your defence should you fail to raise anything that you may seek to rely upon at a later date.

Do the Police have to serve evidence with the Court process?

You may be able to obtain it earlier, but there is no duty or obligation upon the Police to provide any evidence unless and until a Not Guilty plea is entered to the Court process.