As a precursor to the prosecution of a number of motoring offences, it is necessary that the police serve a 'Notice of Intended Prosecution' on the alleged offender within 14 business days of the date the offence was said to be committed. The requirement does not apply where the alleged offence arises from a road traffic collision. See here for more information.
A Summons or these days more commonly, the postal requisition is the document notifying you that your case is going to court, what offence you are alleged to have committed, where and when. It will also provide the date on which you the date you are to appear before the court. All criminal cases, including motoring offences commence in the Magistrates Court. Most motoring offences are summary only, this means that they can only be dealt with in the Magistrates Court and there is no power for the court to send the matter to the Crown Court or indeed, for the defendant to elect a jury trial. For most summary offences the prosecution must be commenced by the 'laying of an information' before the court WITHIN 6 MONTHS. If the information is not laid within the 6 month period, this is ordinarily fatal to the prosecution and the case should be dismissed. Such instances are more common than you might think.
This is a new way of offences being prosecuted, instead of a summons a 'Single Justice Information Notice' is issued along with the charge. This must still be issued within 6 months of the offence. The procedure, involves dealing with cases with a single Magistrate sitting without either prosecution or defence advocates being present. All representations are made either online or by post. If you have doubt as to whether the notice was issued in time. The notice and the written charge must be issued at the same time. The procedure can only be used for adult offenders, pleading guilty to non-imprisonable offences.
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