If you get stopped for speeding, the officer likely uses a radar gun to detect speed. Radar guns send a narrow beam radio frequency to the vehicle, which bounces back to detect speed, or the Doppler Effect. However, stats show radar guns are not always accurate. It is tricky, but not impossible to beat a radar gun speeding ticket following these tips
File a Motion for Discovery
Find out if you have a right to discovery, which can get you evidence from the police department. File a motion for discovery with the county clerk, or send it to the address on the ticket. You may need to visit the court to fill out a motion form.
In most cases, this has to be filed before the court date, so cheek the date on your ticket. If the officer used a photo radar, write and date a letter to ask for photos taken by the device.
If the police fail to answer the request, file a motion of dismissal; including a copy of the motion. Failure of the police to provide evidence may result in getting the charges dropped.
A radar gun must be properly calibrated to work properly, and tested in the last three years. Get a copy of the manual, which should say the device must be calibrated by tuning forks upon a shift change. The tuning forks (tongs) could give inaccurate readings, so you want proof of their accuracy.
Along with the above, ask the following questions in court:
- How did the officer calibrate the unit? Some officers may attempt to use only a test switch.
- When did the officer last calibrate the device? Commonly, it has to be calibrated each thirty to sixty days.
- Where do they keep tuning forks? Tuning forks must be stored in clean, dry places
- Is the officer properly trained to use the device? Officers must pass a 24 hour course.
Lack of evidence for any of the above could be grounds for dismissal.
Write Down What You Recall
Write everything you recall about the day you got pulled over; including the road condition (straight, curvy, etc), amount of traffic, weather (sunny, rainy, cloudy, and road signs. This information could be vital in proving inaccuracy.
Ask the following in court:
- Did the unit pick up another vehicle? Radar beams often spread, causing them to hit another vehicle..
- How well they could see on that day? Ask the officer to describe the weather from that day. Rain can interfere with signals and vision.
- How level was the road? To be accurate, the radar guns require a level road.
When you make your argument, make it brief, and concentrate on radar accuracy. If you are in doubt about representing yourself, seek the advice of a traffic defense attorney like those at Tolbert & Tolbert, LLP.