Virginia Speed Reading Instruments
Reckless driving by speed is prosecuted very harshly in the State of Virginia. If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced Virginia reckless driving attorney. They understand the laws surrounding the charges and will know the appropriate defenses, especially if speed-reading instruments were used.
Enforcement of Speed Laws in Virginia
Virginia law enforcement officers use several methods to determine that somebody is speeding or driving recklessly. The most common three methods are radar guns, LIDAR guns, and pacing to track motorist’s speed. As long as the method or equipment is functioning properly and the officer is following the required protocol, then they can tell if you’re speeding by using any of these methods.
How Officers Prove They Recorded a Vehicle’s Speed
Officers can prove that they were recording your vehicle’s speed because they will be able to present evidence to support the speed they’re alleging you were going. This is generally in the form of a calibration certificate, which is a document that shows the method the officer was using to report your speed was functioning as it was supposed to and was properly maintained in a required time period. This document is required to have extremely specific information on it in order to be admissible in court. If the document meets all of the requirements, then this is enough for the officer to prove they recorded your vehicle’s speed and did so accurately.
If you believe that you weren’t going as fast as the officer alleged you were going, then in order for this to be an adequate defense, you’re going to have to provide some sort of proof more than just your word. This is because it’s more than just the officer’s word that’s against you. It’s the officer’s word plus the calibration certificate verifying the accuracy of the instrument that was used, assuming that certificate has all the information correct on it.
Traffic Tools in Reckless Driving Cases
Traffic radar tools are very commonly used in Virginia to detect speeding. The most common is the stationary radar which the officer uses to track someone’s speed when the police cruiser is stationary. This kind of radar is also able to be used while the officer is moving.
Radar readings in court are readily accepted as reliable evidence as long as the calibration certificate is presented and includes all of the required information of the reading. The correct procedure and protocol needs to be followed by the police officer in order for this to be considered accurate.
A valid calibration certificate is evidence to support that the proper protocol and procedure was followed. Therefore, for this reason, it’s extremely important that you have an attorney who knows what is required to be included on the calibration certificate and can examine this in court to make sure that it meets the required elements in order for your speeding charge to result in a conviction. The slightest thing could be off and then the entire calibration certificate would not be admissible which in a great case would result in your case being thrown out.
Proof of Calibration
This is an absolute requirement for the state. That’s why the calibration certificate is so important in every single case and should never be overlooked. The calibration certificate is proof that the speed reading instruments are working and that they were working during the incident. If the officer cannot provide proof, a lawyer will be able to counter the officer’s claim and potentially have the charges dismissed.
In Virginia, pacing is a type of method that police officers use to determine if somebody is speeding, or driving recklessly. In pacing, the officer targets the vehicle that they suspect of speeding and they follow that vehicle with their cruiser and match the vehicle’s speed. While they’re matching the vehicle’s speed, the officer looks down at his own speedometer to determine how fast the targeted vehicle is going. This is admissible evidence as long as the officer can show that he followed the correct procedure to pace the vehicles properly. Pacing is admissible evidence of speeding or reckless driving as long as the officer can demonstrate that he did it according to correct protocol.
Common Myths about Speed Reading Instruments
Common myths of speed reading instruments in Virginia are that they’re not very accurate or that it’s very easy for them to lock onto the wrong object and not function properly. In reality, speed reading instruments are extremely accurate when they’re used properly and officers are very thoroughly trained to use them properly. There is not much room for error with these instruments as long as the officer has been trained and follows their training correctly.