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Challenging a Speeding Ticket and Radar Guns

If a driver receives a ticket for a speed violation, the driver may challenge the ticket. Often times, a speeding ticket is the result of an officer using a device known as a radar gun. The radar gun is a device that officers use to determine the exact speed that the driver is traveling at a certain point.

Radar Guns

Typically, the officer will point the radar gun at the driver’s vehicle in order to ascertain the speed that the vehicle was traveling. Before the officer should use the radar gun he should have:

  • Certification for using the radar gun.
  • Tested the gun to ensure that it was operating properly.
  • Make sure that the radar gun was properly calibrated prior to its usage.

Challenging the Speeding Ticket

The driver may challenge the speeding ticket by setting up a hearing date. During an informal hearing, a magistrate would hear the driver’s challenge to the ticket. The magistrate may take the ticket under advisement if the driver has a clean driving record. If the magistrate does not take the ticket under advisement and finds that the evidence showed by a preponderance of the evidence that the driver was speeding, the driver may request a formal hearing. At the formal hearing, a prosecutor and judge are present. The prosecutor may give the driver a deal and lower the offense or recommend that the judge take it under advisement. However, if the prosecutor does not offer the driver a deal, the driver may wish to proceed to trial.

Trial and Introduction of Radar Gun Evidence

If the driver opts to proceed to trial to challenge his speeding ticket both the driver and the prosecutor will present their evidence and case to the judge. The prosecutor will present the officer’s testimony regarding the incident in question. The officer will be asked if he is certified in using the radar gun, if he tested the radar gun on the day in question, and if he calibrated the gun prior to its usage. If the officer is not certified or did not test the gun as generally required in most states, the radar gun evidence may be deemed inadmissible. However, even if the evidence is deemed inadmissible, the officer may be able to testify as to different methods that he also used to determine the driver’s speed prior to issuing him a ticket.

Some other methods that may be introduced include:

  • The fact that the driver was traveling at a much faster speed than other vehicles in the area.
  • The officer gauged the driver’s speed by the officer’s own speed.
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