How Speeding Offenses Are Proven in Fauquier County

Law enforcement proves that they were recording the speed of the vehicle through various methods that come with paperwork that is required to be presented in court along with your speed. The officer can’t just say that he decided that you looked like you were going a certain speed without having more proof. The proof comes in the form of a calibration certificate to demonstrate that the equipment he used to record your speed was maintained properly and that it was recently calibrated before it was used to determine how fast you were going.

Therefore if you have been accused it is imperative you consult with a Fauquier County speeding ticket lawyer as soon as possible to advocate on your behalf and ensure that all necessary information is presented. Call today.

Is Speeding My Word Against The Officer’s?

It sometimes happens that way but it is very difficult to prove that you weren’t going as fast as the officer says in Fauquier County court because most people who say this only have their own opinion to present as evidence which is inherently biased. On the other side the officer not only has his personal opinion but in addition, it is backed up by the equipment that is used to determine the speed as well as the paperwork to support the accuracy of the reading from the equipment the officer used. Without more than just an opinion it is very hard in court to just say, “Well, I don’t think that is true.” The key to fighting these cases is a skilled cross examination of the police officer which an experience attorney can provide.

Instruments Used to Catch Speeding Offenders

To detect speeding in Virginia there are a whole variety of tools that officers use, which include radar equipment and LIDAR equipment. RADAR and LIDAR are considered to be very accurate and are admissible in court assuming that the paperwork that goes along with it is also presented and it is accurate and reliable. As soon as the officer can show the calibration certificate of his equipment then the court will accept that it was reliable and was accurate and will be admitted as evidence.

If the officer does not have the calibration certificate available or if for some reason the certificate is done improperly or is missing part of the required information then this opens the door for the defense to attack the testimony and possibly have the entire results of the equipment thrown out. Without this evidence, then it is very unlikely that the Fauquier County police officer will be able to get a conviction. While RADAR and LIDAR are very accurate and the courts see them as such it is not always the case that they are without any issues.

It is very difficult to prove in court, but sometimes a Fauquier County speeding ticket attorney can get lucky and can get the officer during cross examination to admit to the possibility that maybe the RADAR or LIDAR equipment didn’t function exactly as he said it did and possibly it may have locked on to the wrong object. Sometimes when there is heavy traffic or the officer was in a difficult position where a direct shot of the vehicle wasn’t as easy, then this kind of testimony can come out.

How Common Are Radar and LIDAR Errors?

It is hard to say how common they are because they are still very hard to prove in court. I have seen them used as a defense successfully but it is not a very common as a defense. The errors seen usually come from the officers improper use of the equipment.

Pacing

Pacing is what we call it when the officer targets a vehicle and begins to drive behind the vehicle, matching the driver’s speed. At this time the officer, after a reasonable amount of following time watches his own speedometer to determine how fast the driver is going. This is how he determines the speed that the driver is going so that he can charge the driver with speeding.

Issues Regarding Pacing

The issues with pacing are that it is very subjective and it is prone to user error. The Fauquier County police officer’s own speedometer may not have been completely accurate so he should have to prove that his speedometer was also properly calibrated and was working properly. Another issue is when the officer’s speed isn’t matching exactly the same as the driver’s speed. He could be gaining on the defendant and looking at the speedometer right before he pulls over. This would cause the speed to be inaccurate and possibly higher than what the driver was truly going.

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