Loudoun County is notoriously strict in prosecuting speeding offenses. Because of this, law enforcement will use a number of different tools to catch a potential speeding driver. To learn more about fighting a speeding charge and the ways police might have determined your speed, contact a Loudoun County speeding ticket attorney to discuss your particular case.
Officers can prove that they were recording the speed of your vehicle because when they target your vehicle with their radar or LIDAR equipment. Loudoun law enforcement officers can tell if you’re speeding because, if their equipment is working properly, then they have the support of a calibration certificate that backs up that you were speeding.
In court, this calibration certificate is accepted as enough evidence to support that the equipment was working well and therefore the speed the instrument detected your vehicle at was correct. If the calibration certificate is accurate and there’s nothing wrong with it, the court will accept it as enough evidence to support the officer’s position.
If you weren’t going as fast as the officer’s alleges you were going, you’re going to need some kind of proof. In court, you have to remember that the judges see the same police officers over and over again. They are officers of the court are considered to be reliable, so judges don’t usually question their testimony.
In contrast, a layperson who shows up once is a stranger to the court and will have every reason to try to get out of a Loudoun County speeding ticket infraction. The court will see you as a less reliable witness than the officer. To go up against the officer, you need more than just your word. In addition, the officer doesn’t just have his word, he has the calibration certificate that supports that the method he used to determine the driver’s speed was working and functioning properly.
In Loudoun, traffic radar tools are very commonly used. They’re probably the most common way that police officers detect speeding in Loudoun. They also use LIDAR, which is really similar to radar except it uses a laser and could potentially be more accurate. The court takes these readings as reliable evidence and usually the readings are admitted unless the defendant can show that there is some reason to believe that the reading was incorrect. This is where the officer’s calibration certificate becomes really important.
The officer needs to calibrate his equipment within certain specified intervals of time. When he does this, he gets a printout of the calibration certificate that has all of the information that needs to be supplied to the court. He needs to present it in court as a true copy of the original or present the original with the specific information. If any piece of this is not done according to protocol, then it’s enough for a Loudoun speeding ticket lawyer to have the results of the radar reading become inadmissible evidence. This means that, in most cases, unless the officer has more evidence, which doesn’t usually happen, the case is dismissed.
Pacing in Loudoun is a method that officers use to track a vehicle’s speed when they target a vehicle that they suspect to be speeding. They follow that vehicle with their police cruiser and try to match the cruiser’s speed to the target vehicle’s speed. Once they’ve gone a specified amount of distance at their speed, the officer looks at his own speedometer to determine how fast the targeted vehicle is going. This is the speed that the officer then charges the driver with. Pacing is admissible and accepted by the court in just the same way as radar and LIDAR, though it has its own requirement of a calibration certificate of the officer’s speedometer. Even though that’s required, there are still some issues because pacing is a lot more subjective. It only requires the officer to say what the speedometer reads, instead of using an instrument that locks on and then logs the number itself.
It’s also subjective because you run the risk of having an officer who isn’t matching the vehicle’s speed exactly. If the officer was gaining on the defendant because he needed to pull him over and then he logs the speed as too high, it’s possible to charge someone with a speed that is incorrect.
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