How Norfolk Police Catch Speeding Offenders

There are a variety of different methods used by law enforcement to catch speeding offenders in Virginia. Below, a Norfolk speeding ticket lawyer discusses these methods and how they can be used against you in court. To learn more about these charges call and schedule a consultation with an attorney today.

How Can An Officer Prove They Were Recording The Speed of My Vehicle?

Officers generally use speed detecting equipment to determine how fast somebody’s vehicle was going. Each type of equipment has its own special paperwork that comes with it to show that the equipment is properly maintained and has been calibrated before and after the officer’s shift. This is typically enough to prove that somebody was going at whatever speed the officer alleges and the court assumes this equipment is very reliable and very accurate unless there is reason to believe otherwise.

The methods used include:

  • Radar
  • Pacing
  • Cameras

Additionally, Norfolk law enforcement officers are always monitoring the streets and looking for dangerous drivers.

If I Wasn’t Going That Fast Is My Word Against The Officer’s?

You are going to need a little bit more than just your word. You have to remember that officers are in court all the time. They don’t have any incentive to lie to the court because it could cost them their job, and they don’t get anything out of someone being convicted. Whereas you are just a random person that has absolutely no relationship to the court at all and has everything to gain from not being convicted, so your credibility is not going to be as solid as the police officer’s.

Also, since the officer has special equipment as well as documented evidence to show it was used properly, you are going to need just as much evidence as that to counteract that the officer’s testimony, or some type of evidence that can shed reasonable doubt on the accuracy of the readings that the officer alleges.

Are Traffic RADAR Tools Used to Detect Speeding in Virginia?

Traffic RADAR tools are used in Virginia very commonly to detect speed. The most common are RADAR and LIDAR which the court finds to be very accurate and reliable. As long as the officer can demonstrate in court that these instruments were calibrated before and after their shift by presenting the calibration certificate, the court is going to accept it. The way that you can fight this is, is by knowing exactly what the calibration certificate is required to show. Sometimes the calibration certificate is present but the information is incorrect or there is missing information. This is ground for reasonable doubt as to whether the calibration was done properly at all and often times can get the case dismissed on that technicality.

What is Pacing in Virginia Speeding Cases?

In Virginia speeding cases, pacing is when law enforcement officers target a vehicle that they believe to be speeding.To do this they get behind the vehicle, try to match the police cruiser’s speed with the targeted vehicle for a reasonable amount of time to make sure that the speed is consistent and then the officer looks at their own speedometer to determine how fast the targeted vehicle was going.

Pacing is admissible evidence of speeding but it is not without its own issues. Sometimes the officer was speeding up as he is targeting the vehicle and then the speed at which he recorded the driver was actually a little bit higher than what the driver was going. Another possibility is that the officer’s own speedometer was incorrect, so it is required for him to have his own calibration certificate for the speedometer in court in order to prove that the speed that he paced the driver was accurate.

What Are Some Issues and Defenses Regarding Pacing in Virginia Speeding Cases?

The issues are that the officer’s own speedometer could have been incorrect or that the officer could have been speeding up as he was targeting the vehicle and therefore he clocked the speed of the vehicle incorrectly. Pacing is much more subjective than RADAR and LIDAR readings due to the way that it is executed. There is a lot of room for human error, which makes this method of speed-detecting very controversial.