Although Virginia is infamous for its strict speeding laws and aggressive penalties, there are still defenses available for those charged. One such defense is an inaccurate speedometer which in some cases can help lead to mitigated consequences. With this in mind, the following is information on speedometer calibration in Virginia and what a Prince William reckless driving lawyer can do to assist with building this defense. To learn more call or schedule a free consultation today.
Speedometer calibration is a test performed by a mechanic that shows the difference between the actual speed of a vehicle and the speed that is registered on the speedometer. The mechanic will perform a test that shows these differences at various speeds and will then produce a certificate or document which demonstrates these differences.
The speedometer calibration can be used in defending a reckless speeding case specifically to show that the person who was charged believed that he or she was driving at a lower speed than he or she was actually driving. The vast majority of prosecutors and judges will typically give the defendant the benefit of the doubt regarding the difference between the actual speed and the speedometer speed.
You can get your speedometer calibration from any number of mechanics in Prince William County. Not every auto shop does this, so it is a good idea to call around to make sure you are talking to someone who knows what a speedometer calibration is. In addition, your attorney can give you recommendations about the mechanics to use for speedometer calibration. It can cost between $50 and $75.
A speedometer calibration can help with your reckless driving case by demonstrating to the prosecutor or the judge that you believe that you were driving at a lesser speed than you were actually driving. The difference between your actual speed and the speed that you saw on your speedometer is what might get you the benefit of the doubt from the prosecutors or the judge in having the charge reduced.
For example, if someone is accused of driving 22 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, a speedometer calibration that shows a difference of three miles per hour may be sufficient all by itself to reduce the charge from reckless driving to speeding. A reckless driving lawyer will suggest a speedometer calibration in any case where speed is an issue because speedometers can be off a little bit—or even a lot—and the bigger the difference, the bigger the advantage it is for the defendant in a serious speeding or reckless driving case.
A calibration showing your speedometer is off can be a mitigating factor when a prosecutor or a judge is considering how to handle a reckless speeding case. The way this works is that the calibration will be presented to the prosecutor if there are any negotiations for a plea agreement. Then the defense will try to persuade the prosecutors to reduce the charge or give more lenient treatment based on the calibration. If there is a trial, the calibration can be presented to the court as part of the defendant’s evidence in order to mitigate the speed that the defendant is accused of.
Speedometer calibrations are going to be important in virtually every reckless speeding case. Even a relatively new vehicle can have a mis-calibrated speedometer, and the vast majority of vehicles do have a mis-calibrated speedometer. When you are getting a speedometer calibration, it is important to know that you want this test performed and you want a certificate at the end. Some people have made the mistake of having their speedometers fixed before a calibration can be done; this is the wrong approach. It is important to get the calibration first and make any necessary repairs to your vehicle subsequently.
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