Richmond Speed Reading Instruments

In order to catch speeding drivers law enforcement in Richmond uses specialized speed detecting equipment to see how fast drivers are going. While this equipment is extremely accurate when used correctly, different types of paperwork are necessary to support that the equipment was functioning properly when it caught the speeding driver. If the necessary paperwork was not documented, then a Richmond speeding ticket lawyer can use that to build a strong defense.

It takes more than just your word to fight a speeding ticket. An attorney in Richmond may be able to find witnesses, video, or other evidence to help support your position and get you the best result possible. To learn more about what can be done for your case, call today.

Radar Gun

Radar guns and LIDAR guns are by far the most common ways that officers detect speed in Fairfax and are both considered to be very accurate when used properly. When admitted in court, both radar and LIDAR are considered to be reliable and are usually admitted unless the defendant can show that there is some reason that the reading was incorrect.  This is where the officer’s calibration certificate comes in.

The officer is required to calibrate his equipment at certain specified intervals of time, and when he does, he receives a calibration certificate.  This calibration certificate needs to be present in court as a true copy of the original or the original and it is required to have particular information on it.  If it is not a true copy or is missing the required information, then this allows the defense to have the results of the radar not be admissible as evidence, which provides pretty strong reason for the whole case to be dismissed.

Radar Readings As Evidence

There are so many cases that are thrown out because the calibration certificate was not there or was not accurate.  It’s the prime piece of evidence that the police officers have.  If they don’t have this, there is not usually much that they can do besides just tell the judge what they think happened, but testimony alone is rarely strong enough to stand on its own without more evidence.  The readings from the radar itself are crucial.

Defenses To Radar Gun Reading

The primary defense for radar readings is the incorrect or lack of calibration certificate.  When this is shown to be inadequate, then the results are not considered to be reliable anymore. Another defense that some people have used successfully is trying to argue that the radar or LIDAR had been locked on to the wrong object. This is a little bit more difficult to prove and requires a really skillful cross-examination of the police officer. It’s generally going to be hard to get a police officer to admit that he may have made a mistake. It’s not the best defense, but under the right circumstances, it does work.


In Fairfax speeding cases, pacing is a method that officers use to track the speed of a targeted vehicle. To chase the vehicle, the officer follows the vehicle with his own car and tries to match his speed to the target vehicle’s speed. Once you’ve gone a reasonable distance at that speed, the officer then looks at his own speedometer to determine how fast the targeted vehicle is going.

Pacing is admissible evidence of speeding and is readily accepted by the court. Just like radar and LIDAR, pacing has its own requirement of having a calibration certificate of the officer’s speedometer to show that his speedometer was working properly. However, there are definitely a lot of issues with this because unlike radar and LIDAR, it’s a lot more subjective.

The officer has to determine the speed just by looking at his speedometer rather than having equipment that does it automatically. It’s possible in these kinds of cases that the officer was gaining speed as he was targeting vehicle because he had the intention of pulling him over, which would mean that the speed that he determined that the targeted vehicle was going is actually higher than the actual speed that the vehicle was going.

There is also the risk that the officer’s own speedometer was incorrect, which if he doesn’t have a calibration certificate, is an easy case to have thrown away.  It’s very important to take apart the officer’s testimony to determine that he paced the vehicle exactly as the procedure requires him to do so.

Common Myths Regarding Speed Instruments

One of the common myths about speeding instruments in Fairfax is that if you ask the officer to show you the reading on the instrument, he is required to show you. There is actually no law that says this.  There is no requirement that the police officer has to show you anything of his equipment.  Sometimes, police officers comply and they will show you, but it’s not a requirement whatsoever.

Another common myth is that it’s easy to argue in court that the radar equipment or LIDAR equipment locked on to the wrong object.  In fact, this is really hard to prove.  It may be the case that the police officer did lock on to the wrong object, but without a very strong cross examination and getting the police officer to admit openly that there is a possibility that the way he did his job was incorrect, this is not a very strong defense.