Radar Detectors and Jammers in Prince William County

A radar detector is a mobile device set up to receive different radio wave signals that are being used by other radio devices close by. When other devices’ radio signals are detected in use, the radar detector then produces a corresponding alert. The idea is that a driver will receive that alert in time to slow down their speed and avoid being caught by an officer’s radar beams that are being deployed somewhere around that area.

A radar jammer is a mobile device set up to emit its own radio wave signals while in use. When these signals are detected by a police officer’s own radar device, they cause substantial interference such that an accurate or perceivable speed reading cannot be produced for the officer.

Read below to learn more about radar detectors and jammers in Prince William County. And if you have any questions, consult with an experienced traffic lawyer.

Can Drivers Have a Radar Detector or Jammer in Their Vehicle?

Generally speaking, drivers in Virginia are not allowed to have personal radar detectors. However, it is not illegal for drivers to have a device that receives radio waves for lawful purposes and at lawful radio wave frequencies which do not interfere with police radar band frequencies. Because radar jammers are meant to interfere with law enforcement radio band frequencies by design, they are always illegal to use or possess in a motor vehicle. There is no legal exception in Virginia law for commercial vehicles as it relates to using or possessing radar detectors and jammers.

What if They are Driving From a State Where it is Legal?

If one is crossing into Virginia from a state where it is legal to possess a radar detector, one should turn off, unplug, and stow away the device somewhere not readily accessible in the vehicle (such as the trunk or a separate container that is not within arms reach of the driver).

In Virginia, the presence of a radar detector in a vehicle itself provides a legal presumption that the driver is guilty, regardless of intent and regardless of whether the detector appears to be in operation. The only defense under the law is when the detector device had no power source and was not readily accessible for use by the driver or any passenger in the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense.

Radar Detector and Jammer Penalties

The penalties for possessing a radar detector or jammer are pretty minor in Prince William County. There are no demerit points awarded for a radar detector conviction and no possible jail time. The maximum fine that can be imposed is only a couple of hundred dollars. By law, the officer is not allowed to permanently take the device away from the accused. However, the device can be temporarily seized and used as evidence for the related prosecution of the case in the officer’s discretion. If this is done, the device must be returned to the person charged after the charge is resolved, which can be done physically in person or via mail at the accused’s request. However, if a seized device remains unclaimed for six months, the device may be destroyed pursuant to a court order.

Call a Prince William County Attorney About Radar Detectors and Jammers

There are some moderately technical possession issues that arise in radar detector prosecutions that a skilled lawyer could help a person understand and favorably navigate. Radar detector charges are also considered minor in nature, so a lawyer could often negotiate for the charge to be dropped entirely.

If you have any questions about radar detectors and jammers in Prince William County, contact an accomplished attorney today.

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