The Officer's Word May Be Enough

If you’re charged with a traffic or criminal offense, listen up:

The officer’s WORD may be enough to convict you.

Yes, you read that right. The officer’s sworn testimony alone may be the only evidence against you. And it may lead to a conviction.

Clients seem surprised to learn this. I suppose TV has convinced Americans that criminal prosecutions require hard evidence, such as video, DNA, fingerprints, photographs, etc. But that’s plain wrong.

In just about every traffic infraction case, the Commonwealth’s only evidence will be the officer’s sworn testimony. He’ll testify about what he observed, that he identified you as the driver, he issued a summons for the offense, etc.

In speed-related cases, the officer has to have calibrated his radar or speedometer, but he won’t even introduce those into evidence in most cases.

You are definitely allowed to ask the officer questions and testify about what happened. Those are your Constitutional rights. But your testimony that “I wasn’t going 88” won’t normally be enough to win the case.

If you can prove that you weren’t going the alleged speed (perhaps with GPS data) or that you didn’t know you were going that speed due to a faulty speedometer, those issues definitely help the case. But you need some type of supporting evidence other than your word alone.

Let’s face it: if the judge has sworn testimony from the officer that says the radar read X speed and your sworn testimony that you weren’t going that fast, he’s going to believe the officer.

I’m not saying your case is hopeless. Far from it. My point is about realistic expectations regarding the Commonwealth’s evidence and what the judge will do with it.

Photo by Multiple fragments of tissue

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.


Contact Andrew & Fitz