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Manassas Reckless Driving Defenses: Speedometer Calibrations

Speedometer calibrations can help to mitigate the penalties of a reckless driving charge in Manassas, especially if the driver can prove that their speedometer was malfunctioning without their knowledge. This could potentially reduce the charges from reckless driving, which is a criminal offense, to speeding, which is a traffic infraction and will eventually disappear from your driving record. Retaining an experienced Manassas reckless driving attorney will also go a long way in helping you with your case. They know the laws surrounding this charge, and will be able to construct a defense around it.

What is Speedometer Calibration?

Speedometer calibration is a procedure that measures the accuracy of a vehicle’s speedometer. It’s typically performed by a mechanic who will test whether the vehicle’s speedometer is calibrated properly. The mechanic tests whether the actual wheel speed and the reported speed match up and then prints out the calibration report showing whether the speedometer was off and if it is, it will show how many miles per hour the speedometer is off by. In a lot of speed related cases, speedometer calibration can be helpful.

Many Virginia auto mechanics will calibrate speedometers, and some places that offer driving school will calibrate speedometers as well. You should look for a shop that uses a dynamometer.  It’s not very expensive. The cost is usually around $70 to $75.

How Speedometer Calibrations Impact Reckless Driving Charges

A speedometer calibration can sometimes provide an argument for the reason that your speed was so high. If your speedometer was off and the measuring speed was actually lower, then this can show that the reason your speed was so high was due to you following an incorrect speedometer. Sometimes in court this can result in a judge adjusting the speed that the driver is alleged to have been driving by the amount that the speedometer was off by.

This can make a big difference because sometimes in a Manassas reckless driving case for excessive speed, the speed charged was close to qualifying as speeding, a traffic infraction, instead of reckless driving. If you can prove that the speedometer was off by whatever amount that was, that’s a huge argument that the speed alleged could actually be charged as speeding rather than reckless driving. It can take a criminal misdemeanor all the way down to a traffic infraction with not much effort at all.

Incorrect Speedometers as a Mitigating Factor

It’s not law that if your speedometer is off, it’s not your fault, but it can be a mitigating factor depending how off the speedometer was. For example if the speedometer was off by one or two miles per hour, then it’s perfectly reasonable for a judge to adjust the speed alleged by those miles per hour. However, if the speedometer is off by say 15 miles per hour, then the range is so large that it’s arguable that a reasonable person should have known that his speedometer was not working properly and therefore it may not be as convincing in court as a lower discrepancy would be. It could provide an opportunity to have somebody charged with improper or faulty equipment, which is a traffic infraction instead of reckless driving.

Important Facts About Speedometer Calibrations

People should know that speedometer calibration is not a free ticket out of a reckless driving charge in Manassas and that in some particular types of reckless driving cases, it’s not going to be helpful at all. If someone was driving at very excessive speed such as 30 miles per hour over the speed limit or 90 miles per hour or more, then a speedometer calibration isn’t going to be as persuasive to a judge.

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