Failing to furnish information / driver details
Failing to furnish information concerning a driver's identity is a motoring offence with a fairly harsh penalty (6 points) when considering you could be convicted of this charge purely for not responding to a letter from the police.
Notice Of Intended Prosecution (NIP)
If you are the registered keeper of the vehicle alleged to have committed a motoring offence but were not stopped by a police officer at the time of commission of the alleged offence, then you should receive the Notice of Intended Prosecution within 14 days of the alleged offence.
If you receive the NIP it is wise to contact us as soon as possible for advice about the various options open to you.
Under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 if you are the registered keeper of a vehicle alleged to have committed any offence when the vehicle was not stopped by the police and so the driver has not been identified, and you fail to name the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence, then you will be guilty of failing to furnish information unless you can show that you exercised “reasonable diligence” in trying to ascertain who the driver was at the time.
The rules are different if it is a company vehicle. The law states that companies should keep a log showing who is driving their vehicles at all times.
Other Than a Keeper
If you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle then there is a lower burden on you. For a person who is other than the keeper the law places an onus only to provide the information that is in your power which could assist the police in identifying the driver at the time of the alleged offence.
What if I do nothing?
If you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution and simply do not reply then occasionally you will simply hear nothing further. Due to sheer volumes of tickets, the occasional few slip through the net and are not actioned. However, this is much more the exception than the rule. In the overwhelming majority of cases in those circumstances you will be summonsed for failing to furnish information.
What if I have been summonsed for BOTH speeding and fail to furnish?
It is highly likely that we will succeed in securing your acquittal of the "substantive" offence. The whole purpose of a fail to furnish prosecution is to punish the keeper of the vehicle for failing to tell the police who was speeding or who ran the red light etc. It follows, therefore, that the CPS "can't have their cake and eat it!" In other words, they can't prosecute you for not telling them who was driving when the original offence took place and also seek to convict you of that offence. We often find that despite the catch 22 here, the Crown will continue to prosecute for both offences until the day of a trial. You need to speak to specialists if you have been prosecuted for two offences as we are highly likely to be able to sort out the mess you may feel you are in with relative ease.
What if I didn't receive the NIP or the summons?
This is quite common place with failing to furnish cases and can sometimes be the main reason to defend a prosecution. You failed to furnish information because you never received the original request, the NIP, asking for driver details from you.
This is not a defence if the reason the NIP did not reach you was because your vehicle registration details held by DVLA are incorrect but we all know the postal system is far from infallible and in our experience, we often find that there are genuine cases where the NIP was not served in time. We got involved in our client, Paula Hunter's failure to furnish defence after she had already been convicted, had the case reopened and been to court several times unrepresented. She was glad she got us involved to save her licence. We hope we can make you feel the relief she describes in her testimonial.
There are a number of lawful technical defences to this type of prosecution in addition to the reasonable diligence defence.
Warning – Attempting to Pervert The Course of Justice
The following illegal tactics could not only result in your conviction of minor motoring offence, but could also lead to you being prosecuted for a far more serious offence which carries a prison sentence.
- Naming someone else as a driver when you know they were not;
- Naming someone else who was a driver because they live abroad and you think they will escape penalty points as they do not have a UK licence; and
- Claiming you never received the NIP when you have.
The Crown takes an extremely dim view of anyone who employs such tactics and will prosecute anyone who attempts to avoid conviction by unlawful means. The court will not let you off because you are a respectable professional. Take a look at this BBC Breakfast News appearance featuring Miss Justice herself talking about the severe consequences of this possibly common problem.
If you want to hear more about the problems that follow taking penalties for others, listen here to Jeanette Miller, aka Miss Justice talking on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours about drivers taking penalty points for one another.
Lawful technical defences are available to this and other motor offences. Geoffrey Miller Solicitors always act within the confines of the law and will never condone or advise any client to lie in order to achieve an acquittal.
Not Sure What to Do?
Most people who get in touch with our team of motor offence expert solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any legal defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend the failure to furnish offence they face by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! We do represent celebrities but we also represent many hardworking motorists like Brian and we want to help you make the right choice about what you do next.
We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 0800 085 2784 to speak to one of our specialist motoring offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange instalment plans to assist you. Many satisfied clients have thanked us for offering this free consultation service as it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert advice which could have led to them accepting a driving ban unnecessarily.
If you would like to spend more time browsing on the site before you get in touch, make sure you have a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our penalty calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face if convicted and our money saving calculator which helps to outline some of the hidden costs of accepting a conviction.
We think we are simply the best in the business but if you are not satisfied in taking our word for it, our unique “ref me” testimonials scheme allows you to contact previous clients of the firm to seek a completely independent reference about us and what we might be able to do for you.