A speedometer calibration is a document purporting to show that a particular speedometer in a particular motor vehicle has been checked and reconfigured for accuracy as measured against another device that can ensure accurate speed readings. Typically, a calibration results page will have attestations and signatures on it, as well as a break-down of what speed a speedometer showed at intervals of increasing speed levels when measured on a particular date.
Standard speedometer calibrations can be done at almost any normal auto mechanic shop in any part of the state. Calibration fees typically range between $50 and $100, depending on the extent and the quality of the calibration.
Read below to learn more about speedometer calibration in Prince William County reckless driving cases. And if you are facing charges, contact an experienced reckless driving lawyer today.
In many instances where an older vehicle is being driven at a high speed, a vehicle’s speedometer reading will be slightly inaccurate for the driver. If the inaccuracy leads to the speedometer showing a slower speed than the vehicle’s actual speed, then that can help with a reckless driving case that is based on speed. The idea is that people rely on their speedometers when deciding how fast to drive whether manually or via cruise control, and if their speedometers are not accurately displaying how fast they are going, then they should not be punished for going exactly that fast. The inaccuracy of a speedometer calibration could impact a reckless driving case in Prince William County.
Speedometer inaccuracy is not a technical legal defense to a reckless driving by speed charge, although it can be used as a persuasive mitigating factor of punishment or for reducing the charge to a lesser offense. The law places the burden on drivers to make sure their own vehicles are sufficiently maintained in terms of having accurate speedometers because a speeding vehicle is no less dangerous just because the driver does not realize exactly how fast the vehicle is traveling. Regardless, even the effort of going and getting a speedometer calibration shows that the person has theoretically fixed part of the problem by the time of a court date, and prosecutors will sometimes amend the miles per hour margin downward in line with what a calibration shows at a particular speed range.
On occasion, a speedometer calibration might actually hurt a defendant’s case. This happens when the calibration results show that the person’s speedometer actually displayed a faster speed than the actual speed, such that the person should have had reason to believe they were going even faster than the alleged speed of the charge. Fortunately, one is not forced to present the results of a calibration in court if this happens, but it is important for the accused to bring this to an attorney’s attention before asking or expecting the calibration to be presented to a prosecutor or judge.
A seasoned lawyer who is knowledgeable about speedometer calibration in Prince William County reckless driving cases could fight for you if you are facing charges.