Traffic Ticket Lawyer FAQ: I was ticketed after a police officer used a radar gun on my car and alleged I was speeding, can I fight this ticket?

As a driver, there have likely been many times in which you were driving on a roadway only to see a law enforcement officer standing near, or in, their patrol car and aiming a radar gun at the oncoming traffic. Often these officers are clever and park in areas that are not visible until your car is already tagged with the radar gun. If you’re going above the speed limit, you may be pulled over and ticketed. 

Radar guns are a special tool that detects vehicles driving too fast; however, as a traffic ticket lawyer might explain to you, these measurement devices do have weaknesses. If you’ve been ticketed for speeding based upon information read on a radar gun, you may be able to challenge the evidence in a court. The basis most traffic ticket lawyers will use is that radar guns do have limitations and are not always effective. If you do decide to challenge your traffic ticket, you should be ready for a challenge and should also have a traffic ticket lawyer on your side.

The Basics of Radar Guns

Radar guns send and receive radio signals. They work by directing the signal at a car and then it receives the same signal as it bounces off of the car and back to the device. By utilizing what is called the “Doppler Effect”, a radar gun has the ability to determine the speed of the car based on changes in the numerical value of the signal that is returned. 

It’s important to note that police officers are beginning to use light detection and ranging technology. These devices are similar to radar guns but implement lasers rather than radio signals. As a traffic ticket lawyer might explain to you, it doesn’t matter what device is being used; if you were ticketed because of the readings of a speeding device, it is possible to fight the charge. 

Radar guns are sensitive and must be calibrated and adjusted frequently. For instance, like musical instruments, radar guns must be tuned using a tuning fork to ensure the readings are accurate. Although the makers of radar guns advise users of the device to tune it every time it is used, most states don’t require this. 

In general, the easiest way to defend a speeding ticket issued after a radar gun reading is to challenge the radar gun evidence. This is often done through reviewing and introducing the calibration records for the device into the evidence in court. If a traffic ticket lawyer can show the device had not been calibrated in a while, often by the necessary timeframe, or was calibrated improperly, it may be possible to ask to have the ticket dismissed. 

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for some law enforcement officials to attempt to calibrate the device without the tuning fork. If they did not, a lawyer might argue that the ticket is based upon an unsound reason and false evidence. 

Finally, if the officer was not trained, or improperly trained in radar device use or light detection and ranging technology devices, it could be argued that he or she made an operational error. 

As the driver of the car, there may be laws and rights that you’re unaware of. You should consult a criminal defense lawyer in Rockville, MD, such as from the Law Office of Daniel Wright, before doing anything else.