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The Consequences of Lying about Who Was Driving When Speeding
The consequences of lying about who was driving when speeding can be severe and this is an incredibly risky thing to do. We would not recommend it.
If the police suspect that you have intentionally nominated the incorrect person in response to the request for driver information and notice of intended prosecution, then you may be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.
This is a very serious offence, that can result in a prison sentence therefore, it is never worth nominating someone else to escape liability for an offence such as who was driving when speeding, as you may only be making the situation worse.
Understanding the full legal implications of a speeding offence or perverting the course of justice can be complex, but our legal experts here at Caddick Davies have extensive experience dealing with these types of allegations.
We understand all the options available and can offer strategic advice on the best way to respond if you have been accused of either of these offences. Whether it’s building a strong defence, seeking a reduced charge, or petitioning the courts for an alternative ruling, we will build the strongest case possible.
Contact our team at 0151 944 4967 for a free consultation on charges relating to lying about who was driving when a speeding offence was committed.
Intentionally giving false driver information to police falls under the offence of perverting the course of justice. This is an extremely serious charge with most cases leading to a lengthy community order or even a prison sentence.
It’s not worth the high risks that come with falsifying the identity of the driver, just to avoid motoring penalties like points on your licence or a driving ban.
The exact penalty faced for perverting the course of justice will depend on what driving offence the false nomination relates to, as well as whether it’s a one-time lie or repeated behaviour. The maximum possible sentence is life imprisonment, although smaller cases like a speeding ticket are unlikely to bring something so severe.
Always provide truthful and accurate driver details when formally asked. The short-term convenience of a lie will very likely lead to more disproportionate consequences down the line if caught.
You should always provide accurate information about who was driving if asked for driver details. Whether trying to protect someone else from getting points or yourself, here are some common reasons that people tend to give as to why they have lied about who was speeding:
The police may be able to prove who was speeding, or that you falsely nominated another driver, through photographic evidence. A speed camera will take a photograph of the vehicle when it is triggered to capture the registration plate. Whilst the cameras are not necessarily designed to capture who was driving, in some cases, the driver can be seen.
If you have nominated someone and this person does not look like you or is of the opposite gender, this will raise suspicions with the police that you have either lied or nominated the wrong person.
If the police have any suspicions, they may come back to you, and ask you to reconsider who was driving and this is a good opportunity to nominate the correct person.
It’s understandable for people to accidentally name the incorrect driver when responding to police requests for driver identity. This often happens if multiple people drive the vehicle around the date of a speeding offence, making it genuinely difficult to pinpoint exactly who was driving at the precise time.
If you initially nominated someone to the very best of your knowledge, you are unlikely to face charges of perverting justice. If later on police inform you they believe your nomination was incorrect (usually due to photographic evidence), you can then clarify the facts. Explain why you nominated who you did originally and confirm the actual driver after double-checking your records.
The critical thing is showing you made an honest, reasonable attempt to provide accurate driver details rather than showing blatant disregard for the truth or intentionally providing false information to evade penalties. As long as you demonstrate a willingness to cooperate and provide correct details and driver identities once known, accidental nomination errors should not escalate into further legal troubles.
Intentionally nominating a fake driver that doesn’t exist is an approach some try to avoid speeding penalties. As police systematically check the details provided, you will be found out and risk the charge of perverting the course of justice.
Police send separate information requests to the named driver and address provided. When no response or records confirming that individual’s existence emerge, they’ll double back to request clarification from you.
At this point, continuing to claim the mystery driver is real becomes an attempted perversion of justice. The bottom line is; Don’t waste time naming made-up drivers. Police have ways of systematically checking for false details now, and getting caught in a lie will make the situation much worse.
Honesty about the actual speeding driver, even if inconvenient, avoids greater legal jeopardy down the line.
A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is a formal notice issued by police under Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to inform an individual they are considering prosecution for an alleged driving offence.
While an NIP does not guarantee prosecution, it is typically combined with a request under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 requiring the registered keeper to provide the driver’s details.
Common offences triggering an NIP include: speeding tickets, using a phone while driving, careless or dangerous driving and insurance violations.
In roadside stops where the driver is identified immediately, police issue verbal notification but for offenses detected remotely by cameras, a written NIP is sent by post to the registered keeper’s address within 14 days as formal notification of prosecution consideration.
If facing speeding charges, you must respond to an NIP within 28 days by naming the driver or requesting an extension.
Here is an overview of the steps that happen after you have received the notice and request for driver information:
Not replying within 28 days risks prosecution and 6 penalty points for failing to provide driver information. Defences exist if you made reasonable attempts to identify the driver, so always seek legal advice if you find yourself in this scenario.
If you fail to respond to the notice within 28 days then this could result in prosecution for an offence of failing to provide drivers information under Section 172(3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
This will result in an MS90 conviction. The penalty for such an offence is:
1. A fine (a maximum of £1,000) AND;
2. An order to pay prosecution costs AND;
3. An order to pay a victim surcharge AND;
4. 6 penalty points.
If you have been charged with an offence of failing to provide driver information then please refer to our article which covers the defences potentially available to you.
Police will contact your nominated driver separately. If evidence suggests your response was false, they may come back to you for re-clarification.
If You Name Yourself as The Driver
For minor speeding offences between limits of 20mph to 70mph, police may offer a fixed fee fine of £100 plus 3 points, allowing you to avoid court.
You will need to make payment of the fine and send your driving licence details to the police so that the points can be endorsed on your driving record. If you do not do both of these things, then the offer is not accepted. The police have to have both of these things, legally, to process the offer. Unfortunately, there is no scheme to pay in instalments and the fine must be paid in one instalment within 28 days of the offer.
A conditional offer is discretionary and therefore the police do not have to offer you one but they will generally do so to avoid unnecessary court proceedings.
The police will generally offer you a Conditional Offer for the below speeding offences:
– 20mph à 21mph – 30mph
– 30mph à 31mph – 40mph
– 40mph à 41mph – 50mph
– 50mph à 51mph – 65mph
– 60mph à 61mph – 80mph
– 70mph à 71mph – 90mph
Police may offer a speed awareness course as an alternative to fines and penalty points for certain speeding offences caught between 30mph and 86mph limits.
These retraining courses aim to improve driving standards rather than punish those guilty of a driving offence. Attendance is at the discretion of the police based on eligibility criteria.
Key requirements include:
Courses last around 3 hours and are conducted either online or in person by approved providers. Police guidelines allow courses to be offered and taken within 4 months of offence detection, so responding promptly to notifications raises the likelihood of a retraining offer.
Ultimately course attendance is discretionary even if you meet all the criteria but taking this rehabilitative option escapes points or court consequences, instead focusing on improving motorist safety.
More serious speeding or offenses require appearing before magistrates. Fines are means-tested and penalty points are imposed based on severity. Totting up over 12 points risks disqualification – legal advice is vital.
If the police feel an offence is too serious for a fixed penalty or awareness course, you may be summoned to court.
Common reasons include:
Sadly, once court proceedings commence, reverting to fixed penalties isn’t possible but magistrates can reduce fines/points if the initial offer lapsed accidentally.
If a speeding offence has been taken to court you will be subject to a financial penalty, which will be calculated based on your income. You will also be required to pay prosecution costs and a victim surcharge.
The Court will also endorse your driving licence in accordance with the following guidelines:
|Recorded Speed (MPH)
|41 and above
|51 and above
|66 and above
|76 and above
|91 and above
|101 and above
|6 points OR 7-56 day disqualification
|4-6 points OR 7-28 day disqualification
You may also have received court summons due to being at risk of accumulating 12 or more penalty points on your driving licence, as you will fall liable to a ‘totting up’ disqualification pursuant to Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.
Please read our article on how to avoid a driving ban for more information – https://www.motordefencelawyers.co.uk/motoring-advice/mitigating-circumstances-to-avoid-a-driving-ban-tips-from-a-motoring-solicitor/.
If the court feel that you have driven ‘grossly in excess’ of the speed limit, then they can consider a disqualification in excess of 56 days. There is no definition of ‘grossly in excess’ but and is at the discretion of the court in each individual case.
Should you be facing a length disqualification or a ‘totting up’ disqualification, then please contact our firm on 0151 944 4967 to speak with a specialist motoring lawyer for a free consultation.
You have a valid defence if the NIP arrived at your address as a registered keeper more than 14 days after the alleged offence however, this only applies if your address was fully up-to-date on the vehicle logbook. Redirected mail due to out-of-date details forfeits the defence.
Notably, the defence also only works if you named yourself as the driver in response to the NIP. Those failing to provide any driver identity remain prosecutable despite postal delays.
In clear-cut cases of registered keepers receiving delayed notices, charges may get dropped pre-trial. Otherwise, assert the 14-day breach defence in court with supporting evidence.
So while time limit expiries provide grounds to contest charges, complex rules apply regarding recipient identity and self-nomination as driver. Seek specialist legal advice to understand what does or doesn’t constitute a valid defence before responding to a late-arriving NIP.
No, the police do not have to prove who was driving. They may be able to with photographic evidence, but the onus is still on the registered keeper to nominate who was driving. It is generally accepted that if you are the keeper of the vehicle, you should generally be aware of who is driving your vehicle and when.
This may not always be the case though, and we have covered this in our article on failing to provide drivers information.
Penalty points stay on your driving licence for 3 years from the date an offence is committed, not the date that they are endorsed. They then expire after 3 years, but any fixed penalty notices will show on your licence for 1 year after for recording purposes.
Lying about who was driving when speeding is never advised. The consequences of falsely nominating a driver to avoid liability for a motoring offence like speeding far outweigh accepting responsibility for the original infraction.
This article has covered what happens when you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) for a driving offence, the process and penalties if you incorrectly name another driver, and your legal options for challenging allegations or charges.
At Caddick Davies Solicitors, we have a team of specialist motor defence lawyers who specialise in representing drivers involved in speeding offences. From the simplest to the most complex of cases, we are here to help.
We start every enquiry with an informal discussion to get a clear understanding of your circumstances and are here to answer any questions that you may have in confidence. We will talk you through the offence you have been charged with and we will advise on the options available to you.
You can contact our office for a free consultation on 0151 944 4967.
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