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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70524
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have received a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty dated

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I have received a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty dated 18th July 2013, in relation to a speeding offence committed on 13th June 2013. At the time of the incident, I was pulled over by a traffic policeman and he specifically advised me that if I didn't hear anything within 14 days then the case was no longer valid. I have been reading various information about this point online, and all of the references I have seen are to a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) rather than a COFP. However I have never received an NIP - the COFP is the first communication I have had from the police.

Does this mean that since they have failed to serve documents within 14 days I should not have to take the penalty/fine?

Many thanks in advance for any clarification you can provide.

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Were you speeding?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, and thanks for the reply. I was indeed speeding - I was caught with a radar gun travelling at 62mph in a 40mph limit (I wrongly believed I was in a 60mph zone). I am not disputing the offence, simply questioning the timing of the communication, based on what the officer told me.



Are you the registered keeper of the car?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It was a hire car, registered in my name.


Was the hire company the registered keeper with the DVLA though, do you know?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't know for sure, but I presume they would have been; this is Avis, if that's any help.

Yes, thats all I need to know.

I am sorry but I'm afraid the police officer has mislead you slightly.

The rules are that they have to send a NIP out to the registered keeper at the DVLA within 14 days or deliver a verbal NIP at the scene. It is surprising that he didn't do that since he stopped you anyway! Nevertheless it would seem he did not. All that would mean is that they had to send a NIP out to the hire company within 14 days. I don't know whether they have done that or not here. I suppose only the hire company would be able to assist. However, if they have then they are in time.

I imagine that they sent the NIP out to the hire company and they named you. Since he stopped you it does seem a convoluted way of going about things but I suppose thats what happens when officers don't follow guidelines.

You can take a risk and see whether they remember to summons. They may be out of time. Sometimes even when they are out of time they will send out a NIP to try to legitimise it. Even if they do summons you then you would still only get the same number of points at court but the financial penalty is higher. For my own part I would never take the conditional offer. You don't get very much out of it. Its just a matter of easing the administrative pressure upon the courts. It depends really upon your appetite for risk though as the fines are higher generally at court.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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