Speed Defense Myth: You can Argue Technical Radar Defenses

published by Andrew Flusche on April 17, 2013

windshield wipers

Not usually.

Technical radar defenses typically require an expert in court on our behalf. Radar is a very high-tech device, even though we kind of take it for granted in our time. It’s using a high-tech method to determine speed, and so there are some flaws in the technology. People think that they can read up on a “beat your speeding ticket” book and know all these flaws and argue to the judge about these flaws.

However, it usually would require an expert witness in radar technology to testify why the flaws would matter in the first place and to testify how it would have affected your specific case. Just telling the judge about the cosine effect or about interference from rain or windshield wipers is not enough. You’re going to need expert testimony to prove to the judge that there’s at least reasonable doubt that these factors or these flaws could have mattered in your case.

Most judges in Virginia are very reliant on the radar and the LIDAR gun and they’re not going to simply dismiss the case because you bring up some fancy word or concept that you read online. I’m not saying that it never happens, but it’s very rare for an argument about some technological limitation of the radar to work unless there was some kind of really exceptional situation or where you had an expert witness in court with you.

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