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Radar Evidence in Birmingham Speeding Cases

Speeding tickets can lead to serious penalties such as fines and points on your license. With subsequent charges, the consequences add up. In most speeding cases, law enforcement officers use radar (radio distance and ranging) or lidar (light distance and ranging) to determine the speed of a vehicle. This reading is often taken as fact in court, but there are some instances where you could challenge this outcome. If you would like to know more about radar evidence in Birmingham speeding cases, reach out to a seasoned speeding ticket lawyer.

How Radars Are Used

When tracking drivers’ speed on the roads, police officers often use stationary radar from their vehicle. Sitting still, they use a radar gun to determine the speed of vehicles entering into the observed zone. On the side of the roads, there are often signs posted indicating if it is a radar-controlled area.

Officers will often park where there is a sudden change in the speed limit to catch drivers who are speeding. They may also use their moving radar if their car is equipped to determine what speed the driver ahead of them is going.

Radar Accuracy

It is difficult to determine the accuracy of police radars, as most defendants do not actually challenge or even ask about radar accuracy in court. As a result, there is not much data on the frequency of radar errors. Judges often take the reported speed from a police radar as writ fact. However, there is still room for both machine and human error in checking speed.

An attorney may be able to investigate radar evidence in Birmingham speeding cases to figure out the accuracy of a radar reading. Usually, an error in the reading by the officer or an incorrect reading by the machine itself can lead to the dismissal of charges. Defendants should not assume that the reading by the officer is correct, rather they should consult with a lawyer before accepting law enforcement’s conclusions.

Weight of Radar Evidence in Speeding Cases

Speeding is a civil infraction as opposed to a criminal charge. Unlike a criminal charge, which requires evidence to demonstrate guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt, civil infractions only need a preponderance of evidence. This means that a conviction can occur if the judge simply believes that the speeding offense likely occurred.

There are many specific circumstances that may allow for challenges to a radar reading. Improper calibration, maintenance, angle of approach for reading the vehicles speed, and other factors might convince a judge that the reading was incorrect. However, a magistrate’s first inclination is usually to believe the reading. Other factors in a decision include the defendant’s character, and whether they have any prior infractions. A traffic lawyer could help create a valid defense to have the infraction potentially dropped completely, reduced in severity, or at least mitigate the consequences of a conviction.

Contact a Birmingham Lawyer About Radar Evidence in Speeding Cases

While speeding is not a criminal offense, having a lawyer at your side may be helpful in refuting the charges to potentially prevent consequences such as points on your license, fines, or even license suspension or revocation. Radar evidence in Birmingham speeding cases can be difficult to refute, but an attorney may be able to help you. Call a lawyer today for a consultation on your case.