In Virginia, police officers traffic radar tools are used to detect speed as well as LIDAR, which is similar but uses a laser instead of a radar. Stationary radars and stationary LIDAR are extremely accurate when properly calibrated.
When a police officer in Virginia testifies these kinds of technology also include a calibration certificate that will show whether the equipment was properly calibrated to establish the accuracy of the reading the officer obtained on the date of the offense. Moving radar can be challenged in a different way than stationary radar, but it is also used less frequently than stationary radar.
Although police officer testimony and the results from a radar tool are respected by courts, it is still possible to defend against a speeding offense. In Virginia, the traffic radar equipment used is deemed to be accurate by the Court if the Commonwealth lays the proper foundation. However, an experienced Virginia speeding ticket attorney can call this accuracy into question in some cases.
In court, there are a few defenses to radar gun readings that a speeding ticket lawyer in Virginia can bring up. For example, if the reading occurred in an area where there are environmental factors involved, such on a bridge or near an area where there is radio interference, which could have an impact on the proper functioning of the radar.
The calibration of the radar is also taken into consideration. The police officer must produce a calibration certificate that meets certain statutory requirements. Lack of training of an officer is always an issue that can be used by a defense attorney to challenge how the officer conducted the traffic stop, testing his equipment, and employed the equipment.
The radar and LIDAR equipment is required to be calibrated within the previous six months of the offense date in order for the speed reading to be admissible at trial. When a radar or LIDAR tool is calibrated, there is a certificate presented validating that the process was done correctly.
Operator error is a common defense that is accepted in court. However, arguing this defense can be complicated because Virginia courts typically place a great deal of faith in the Commonwealth’s police officers. It will take a lawyer who knows the prosecutors well and has handled speeding offenses before to successfully argue such a defense.
Another issue that can come up is when the equipment locks onto the wrong object. When you hire a speeding ticket lawyer who has experience defending these cases in the state of Virginia, they will look into the possibility of that the tool locked onto a wrong object.
This happens sometimes when there’s a lot of traffic and the drivers are driving close together. Police officers typically will keep pretty far away from the driver they are targeting to make sure that the driver does not detect them before they can clock their speed.
If the officer is using LIDAR equipment and there’s any movement by the police officer while he’s trying to detect the driver’s speed, the LIDAR can mistakenly result in a difference in distance from the target which means that the result could be inaccurate.
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