Failing to Identify a Driver

Failing to Identify a Driver

The specialists in our Motor Law department are leading experts in all types of motoring offences with extensive experience in representing clients faced with an allegation of failing to identify a driver.

This is a criminal offence that can hold significant penalties.

With our Motor Law service you have access to a specialist team of solicitors who carefully examine the circumstances surrounding the allegation all with the aim to establish a defence that could mitigate any potential penalties.

Failure to Identify a Driver

When a vehicle is suspected of being involved in an offence, the registered keeper of that vehicle will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) by the Police.

Under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 the registered keeper of the vehicle in question, is required by law to provide details relating to the identification of the driver at the time of the alleged incident. If this is not done within the required time limit provided the registered keeper of that vehicle can be prosecuted.

If you fail to respond to a NIP you may be summonsed for failing to provide information.

It is important to seek the advice of a specialist solicitor at the earliest opportunity to ensure you are aware of all the various options available.

The penalties for failing to identify a driver vary and will depend upon the individual circumstances of your offence.

Penalties can include:

  • Mandatory punishment of six penalty points and a fine of up to £1,000 if convicted;
  • If you already have six or more points and are convicted of this offence, the Magistrates will consider disqualifying you from driving for a minimum of six months unless there are special reasons not to or the loss of your licence would cause exceptional hardship. If either of these arguments can be proved then we can appeal to the Court not to ban you even if are convicted of the offence;
  • If you have held your driving licence for two years or less then your licence would be revoked and you would required to retake your test.

What happens next?

As motor law experts we are on hand to advise and guide you through the legal process and will provide the evidence to put before the Court to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.

There are defences available depending upon the circumstances of the offence.

For example, if it is evident that you did not know, and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle was, then you are not guilty and should not accept the charge.

Similarly if it is evident that you provided the requested information as soon as reasonably practicable, or that it has not been reasonably practicable for you to provide the information in the timeframe given, then you do not need to accept responsibility.

These defences are normally applicable to cases when the NIP was never received or in cases where more than one person could have been driving the vehicle at the time when the alleged incident took place and the registered keeper has no recollection of who was driving.

If you later accept that you were the driver at the time of the offence but the NIP deadline has passed, this does not automatically mean that you will be convicted of this offence.

In our experience, every case and the circumstances surrounding the offence is different. With the expertise of our Motor Law specialists you have access to leading litigators that will challenge any evidence the Crown Prosecution Service has to rely on by pinpointing potential loopholes and technicalities. There are various lawful technical defences.

It is important to remember that by seeking legal advice from the outset you can help to ensure that any complexities and potential implications are effectively managed. Having access to expert advice can bring peace of mind at a time when you face uncertainty and concerns for what lies ahead.

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