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Tools Law Enforcement Uses to Catch Speeding Offenders in Richmond

Below is what you should know regarding the different tools law enforcement uses to catch speeding offenders in Richmond, Virginia. To discuss potential defense for your case call and schedule a consultation with a Richmond reckless driving lawyer today.

How Richmond Law Enforcement Officers Can Tell If You Are Speeding

An officer generally proves that they’re recording the speed of your vehicle by testifying in court. The officer will testify as to the make and model of your vehicle as it passed through their radar or LIDAR, and then provide documentation to show the accuracy of their radar. Additionally, the officer will testify as to the road conditions, traffic conditions, the demeanor of the driver, and any other aggravating factors.

If you think you weren’t going as fast as the officer says, you can present evidence of your own, whether that be a speed calibration showing that your speedometer may be off, or you could challenge the officer’s testimony as to their radar device.  If it is a case where it is simply your word versus the officers, the majority of the time the officer will win.

Below is information on the three different ways officers typically record speed.

Radar Guns

Officers using radar equipment can tell if you’re speeding when you pass through the radar beam or the radar zone. Your speed will be indicated on the device.

Radar devices are commonly used in court and are actually the main way that officers determine speed or reckless driving cases. They carry significant weight in court and as long as the officer can show the radar device was properly maintained, judges will accept that the officer read the radar correctly.

Defenses To Radar Gun Readings

While traffic radar instruments used by the Richmond police and state troopers are known to be extremely accurate, and thus given a lot of weight in court, there are a few defenses that can be used against radar readings. One way is to show that the officer was not trained to properly use the device. Another is to challenge the device itself by showing that the radar was not maintained or tested properly by the officer.

You can also challenge a ticket by showing that your speedometer was defective at the time you were pulled over.

Issues With Radar Instruments

The main issues the criminal justice system sees with radar instruments involves them not being properly maintained. Other issues that can be raised are if you can show that there was some interference with the instrument or if locked on to another vehicle. However, these types of defenses are hard to use and require some type of independent evidence in order to be successful.

Additionally, operator error is very uncommon when it comes to radar devices. For the most part, state troopers and local law enforcement are vigorously trained on these devices because they are so important in reckless driving and speeding tickets.

LIDAR Devices

LIDAR devices are another way that law enforcement in Richmond can record a vehicle’s speed. There are very few issues with the LIDAR device. Sometimes it can lock on too many targets at in some cases it’s known to have interference from the sun or dust in the air. These issues are very hard to prove and with radar devices the most common argument comes back to if we can prove that it was not properly maintained.

The state is required to prove in court that the speeding instruments work and that they are properly maintained. The officers are required to have all their documentation in court to present to the judge we’ll ask the officer to provide us with documentation showing that the calibrations on the device were used, and that it has been checked with a tuning fork before and after their shifts.

Pacing

Pacing in Richmond speeding cases is when an officer uses his or her vehicle and his or her speedometer to determine your speed. Typically this will involve an area where they follow you for a significant period of time or drive alongside of you for anywhere from a quarter mile to several miles in some cases.

Pacing is admissible evidence of speeding as long as the officer can show how long and how far they paced you and can also show that their vehicle’s speedometer was working accurately.

Common Myths About Speed Reading Instruments in Richmond

One of the most common myths we see about speed reading devices in Richmond is that the officer has to show you the device or show you what speed they read. The officers are not legally required to do that nor will they. Another myth is that these devices are inaccurate and that they commonly make mistakes. The reason these devices are used is because they are extremely accurate and very precise.