Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
Facing traffic or reckless driving charges in Arlington, Virginia? Here is the evidence that will likely be presented against you in court. To begin building your defense call and schedule a consultation with an Arlington reckless driving lawyer today.
They’re going to prove it through their testimony and supporting documentation on the testing and calibration of their speed measuring device they used to calculate your speed. They will testify as to how their speedometer, the laser unit, or the radar unit was working properly on the date your were pulled over and had been tested both before and after your shift. Ultimately, this will be evidence that the judge will hear and use in determining whether you’re guilty or innocent.
Yes, typically it is your word against the officer unless you have other witnesses either from your car or from other cars on the road. Of course, if you have video footage of the incident that shows that you weren’t driving that fast, that can be very persuasive to a judge or prosecutor. Typically, however, it comes down to the officer’s word versus the driver’s word and many times the court will side with the officer.
In the police academy, police are trained in the visual estimation of the speed of cars. They have to get within a certain range of miles per hour in order to be certified and once they are, they can use that visual estimation of your speed in court. Also, more importantly in almost every speed case they will use either a laser device, a radar device, or speedometer in their own car to track their speed and “pace” your vehicle to determine your speed. These speed measuring devices are the best evidence in court of your speed at any given time.
The weight of a radar device is very high. The judges will hear evidence of it and they will give it a lot of weight in court as long as the device is probably calibrated and was tested both before and after the shift by the officer. Under Virginia law, if it has been calibrated properly, the results of a radar reading are admissible in court. Once it is in evidence, it is difficult to rebut and you or your attorney will have to show that it was operated improperly or show that there were any other possible defects with the device. But you can expect that if you were clocked on radar or a laser device that the judge will give it a lot of weight in court and absent some great defense, there is a strong likelihood you will be convicted.
There are possible defenses to radar gun readings in court. They’re not always successful because judges give the readings from radar devices a lot of weight. There are ways to show that the radar device wasn’t properly calibrated on a given date, or that it wasn’t working properly on the day in question, or that it wasn’t operated correctly by the police. If it hadn’t been calibrated in the past six months or been tested before and after the shift that can be used to keep the radar readings out of court or to show that they are inaccurate. There are various ways to attack a radar device in court. However, the success rate of these defenses is not great because the judges give the radar readings a lot of credibility.