Speedometer Calibration in Colonial Heights Reckless Driving Cases

Every driver has an obligation to drive at a safe and reasonable speed. When a driver does not have a functioning speedometer, however, that may constitute a valid excuse for their excessive speed. If you have questions about speedometer calibration in Colonial Heights reckless driving cases, consider reaching out to an experienced traffic lawyer for help.

How Speedometers Work

Whenever someone is driving a vehicle, the reason that they know how fast they are going is that their speedometer reads their RPMs, or revolutions per minute, on their tires, and converts that information into a mile-per-hour reading.

The way that this is maintained is through the calibration of the speedometer. Every so often, the speedometer can be miscalibrated, meaning that the number that reads on the inside of the vehicle does not accurately reflect the revolutions per minute and the speed at which the vehicle is traveling. Calibration ensures that the number inside the vehicle reflects the speed on the outside of the vehicle.

The price for speedometer calibration varies depending on the location. A mechanic can do it and a dealership can do it, with price ranges anywhere from $45 to $300.

Speedometer Calibration Could Help a Defense

Speedometer calibration may help mitigate a reckless driving by speed case. The General Assembly, when drafting the Virginia Code, made a determination that whenever a person is trying a case or hearing evidence on a reckless driving by speed charge, it is not a specific intent crime; rather, it is a general intent crime, which means that if a person drives the vehicle at the speed at which the officer clocks them, they can  be charged even if they did not know how fast they were traveling.

The argument is that knowing the speed of the vehicle is incumbent on the owner of the vehicle, as is taking the necessary steps and the proper maintenance of the vehicle to make sure that the speedometer is always properly working.

While it does not end the case, speedometer calibration can mitigate a case. If a person is driving 85 in a 70, which technically can be considered reckless driving by speed because their speed is over 80, a speedometer that is off by 5 or 10 miles per hour can cause the judge to show leniency and provide the opportunity of driving school instead of high fines or jail time.

When to Seek Speedometer Calibration After a Reckless Driving Charge

Whenever an individual is facing a reckless driving charge involving speeds over 90 and above, they should have their speedometer calibrated because once they start hitting the 90s, they can face jail time. Calibration can either help their case or make no difference, but it will not have a negative outcome. If a defendant has their speedometer checked but a mechanic does not find evidence of miscalibration, an attorney will simply not submit that evidence to court. To learn more about speedometer calibration in Colonial heights reckless driving cases, contact an experienced defense lawyer.