Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
Traffic tools such as radar guns are very commonly used to detect speeding in Fairfax. It is probably one of the more common ways that officers are able to calculate someone’s speed. It is also one of the more common methods seen in court because if the calibration is done correctly, that evidence can be a very effective way to convince a judge that somebody was going a certain speed.
For this reason, it is imperative to have an experienced Fairfax speeding ticket lawyer on your side to build a strong defense in your case, and to help you smoothly navigate the legal process ahead of you.
The radar instruments that are used in Fairfax are accurate only when they are used correctly, and even then they are not going to be 100% accurate; there is always going to be a little bit of room for error. The more an officer follows directions and correctly calibrates, sets up and uses the machine, the less likely there is to be an error in the reading.
Every machine is only as good as the training of the person operating it. It is important for an attorney to find out from the arresting officer how exactly he or she was trained on the radar, as well as how he or she set it up, how he or she pointed it, and whether he or she utilized it in the standard way in order to accurately capture a person’s speed.
There are definitely issues that can come up with traffic radar as far as whether or not your speed was accurately captured. One of the problems is whether the officer actually tracked your vehicle with the radar device.
A radar gun calculates the speed of your vehicle by sending a beam towards it, and based on the amount of time that it takes for that beam to come back to the radar gun, the device can determine what speed you are going with a very high level of accuracy. However, the problem with radar readings is that the device may be picking up other things at the time that it is sending out those beams. If the officer is not pointing it at one specific vehicle or if other moving objects are in its path, then that could cast doubt on whether or not the officer correctly picked up the speed of your vehicle.
A radar reading is an extremely effective piece of evidence in court. It is something that the judge or jury would certainly look to in order to be convinced of an accurate reading of somebody’s speed.
That said, an important component of an officer’s testimony is the calibration certificate for the recording device, whether it was a radar gun or a laser gun. That is something that the Virginia statute requires. Therefore, if an officer says that a radar device was able to clock someone at a particular speed but the officer does not have the correct calibration, the readings will lose their weight and become less important than if the officer has a correctly calibrated radar gun. If the officer does have a correctly calibrated radar gun, though, he or she will certainly be taken very seriously by the court.
There are many defenses against radar readings in court. The calibration for the radar gun itself must be accurate and must be calibrated within the past six months, and the officer must be able to produce documentation of that. If the radar was not calibrated correctly, then that will leave room for reasonable doubt as to whether the officer correctly recorded your speed.
Additionally, some other defenses to a radar reading could be whether or not the radar that was used on you was a mobile radar or a stationary radar. If the officer was moving, there are certain things that he or she has to do in order to effectively capture your speed. The same is true if the officer is stationary on the side of the road and captures your speed that way. Essentially, the officer needs to prove that he or she properly utilized the radar in both of these situations in order to correctly capture your speed.