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Prince William County Speeding Ticket Defenses

Prince William County has a reputation for strict driving regulations. Many people find themselves receiving tickets, but do not know the proper defenses against speeding in court. A Prince William County speeding ticket lawyer can help you assess your situation and derive a plan of action for defending you in court.

Defense Against Radar Guns in Court in Prince William County

If the calibration certificate [PDF] is not a true copy of the original, or if the calibration certificate is missing pertinent information, or if the calibration certificate is just not present whatsoever, then these are speeding defenses to the officer’s claim of the radar reading and the radar will not be admissible. Another defense, which is not used as successfully, is trying to prove that the equipment locked on to another object. This is a hard thing to prove because a Prince William County speeding ticket lawyer has to get the officer to admit that he may have made a mistake. Most police officers are not very willing to admit they have made a mistake so it is a very skillful line of cross examination questions to use on an officer.

The traffic radar instruments used in Virginia are extremely accurate. They are accurate within just a few feet, so most of the defenses people believe will work tend to just go nowhere.

Other Issues with Traffic Radar Instruments

Sometimes people try to argue that the weather may have had an effect or that heavy traffic may have had an effect, but again this goes towards the defense of the officer having made a mistake by his equipment locking onto some incorrect object. While it certainly could be a possibility, it is very difficult to prove in court. These kinds of defenses require very strong cross-examination from a Prince William County speeding ticket lawyer, as well as a strong understanding of how their instruments work and what their requirements are. Some radar guns are not supposed to be used when there is any precipitation, for example, so if the weather that day included rain and the instrument used was of that particular sort, then the argument becomes a lot more convincing.

Proving Accuracy of Speed Reading Instruments 

The state has to prove in court that the speed reading instruments work, which is where the calibration certificate comes in. The certificate shows that the instruments were functioning properly and had been maintained as routinely required. In court, this evidence of routine maintenance and calibration goes to show that the instruments were working properly at the time that the officer used them to track the defendant’s speed.

Going With the Flow of Traffic as a Defense

Going with the flow of traffic is probably the most common excuse with speeding cases. It is not a defense against speeding in Prince William County. The judges hear people claim this all the time, but the truth is that everyone else doing something illegal does not excuse you from doing something illegal. If everyone at a party was smoking marijuana and you did it too, you would have a really hard time convincing the judge to let you off with the exact same logic that people try to use here.

The only time going with the flow can ever possibly be a valid defense would be if the defendant were able to prove that an emergency situation is what caused them to go that speed.

Common Myths about Speeding Instruments in Prince William County

One common myth is that it is easy to argue that the instruments locked on to the wrong object. I hear all the time from people that there were so many cars on the road that the officer must have locked on to another car that sped by when he was tracking the defendant.

In reality, this is probably not as common as people think it is. If there are a lot of cars on the road, there is the possibility that the radar locked on to the wrong object. But the officer usually is targeting the vehicle for a longer period of time than just a few seconds. They are usually really careful with their guns and it is simply not as easy to lock on to the wrong object as people believe.

Another myth is that the officer has to show drivers the radar reading on his equipment. In Virginia, there is no law saying the officer has to show the driver anything. Sometimes, if a driver asks, the police will show them, but they do not have to and there is certainly no requirement that they do.

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