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What does the law say?

The law states that the registered keeper of a vehicle is obligated to provide details of who was driving at the time of the alleged offence when required to do so by the police.

This offence is often committed either unwittingly or unknowingly.

Making a mistake when completing the form or getting the person who was actually driving to complete it on your behalf would more than likely lead to you being charged with the offence.

Another common reason for being charged occurs when you didn’t change the address on a vehicle’s V5 registration document when moving house, meaning you never even received the Notice of Intended Prosecution to which to respond.  This will still be charged as a failure, as it is your legal duty to notify the DVLA when changing address, in order that they can contact you when necessary.

Even if you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle that is subject to the Notice, let alone driving at the time of the alleged offence, it is still illegal to fail to respond, as the law creates a duty for you to respond, as soon as the Notice is sent to you.

If you plead guilty to the offence or are found guilty after a trial, the normal penalty is set at 6 points, which can often lead people to totting up to 12 points and facing a minimum 6 month disqualification and a fine of up to £1,000.

However, the offence is often charged alongside the initial offence, such as speeding, and it may be possible to avoid conviction for the Failure to Respond charge in some cases and revert to the original offence.

The law in relation to this offence is often complicated as there are limited defences available to you in relation to this charge.

How we can help

Our criminal defence solicitors Michael Gupwell Partner and Maxine Twynam have specialised in criminal law for over 30 years and can offer a bespoke, personal and proactive service to clients.

They have extensive experience in defending clients accused of such offences at court.

We are here to help, so get in touch with our Bristol office on 0117 929 2811

Our helpful guides on Driving and Road Offences are available here.

Go back to our main Driving and Road Offences page here.

"Michael Gupwell was exceptionally knowledgeable and professional throughout the case. I can only thank you all for the effort you put into the case and undoubtedly would not hesitate to recommend Michael and your practice to others."

"I contacted Wards solicitors after I was informed I was being charged with a criminal offence that I did not commit. I was put in touch with Maxine, a Criminal Defence specialist. Maxine was professional and kind, she advised me and supported me through every step of the process from our initial meeting, to the eventual trail. Nothing was too much trouble for Maxine and the team at Wards, they were always on hand to answer questions. I will be forever grateful to everyone involved for their professional yet compassionate approach to my case and for securing the result that has given me my life back, thank you all."