[VIDEO] Are Tuning Fork Calibrations After the Offense OK?

Arguing about tuning fork certificates is quite technical about the statute and what exactly happened. If you having a speeding or reckless driving by speed case, you should definitely contact me so we can go ahead and discuss the facts of your case.

Video Transcription

Are tuning fork calibrations good if they’re dated after the offense? Let’s talk about that. Hi I’m Andrew Flusche your Virginia traffic and misdemeanor attorney. One question that comes up sometimes when challenging officers tuning fork calibrations for their radar equipment is that the date for the calibration is in the six months after the alleged offense. So you have a date, let’s call it May 1st when the person was accused of speeding and the officer used their radar that day to determine whether or not you were speeding. They have these tuning forks, musical tuning forks that resonate at designated frequencies and they use those tuning forks before and after their shift on May 1st to determine if their radar was working properly. That’s how they do their accuracy check each day.

The law says that the officer has to have a certificate for those tuning forks to prove that they were working properly and that has to be dated … basically the statue says that no certificate should be valid for longer than six months. The argument that I’ve had come up is an officer will have a really old tuning fork certificate, more than six months before May 1st and I guess they’ll realize sometimes, “Whoops my certificate’s out of date,” and they’ll go get the tuning forks calibrated after May 1st but before the court date. On the court date they’ll bring in a certificate that’s dated, let’s say, June 1st, so it’s clearly not six months after the offense, it’s within six months and they argue it’s within six months.

The issue is, is that good enough? What I’ve argued and what most of the judges around Fredericksburg that I’ve had this issue in front of have ruled is that the calibration has to be dated within the six months before May 1st. The whole reason is that on May 1st the officer needs to know that his equipment was proper and that we need to know that on that date the tuning forks hadn’t been tampered with or anything. If you go and get them calibrated afterwards, it’s just not as good of evidence. While it has been done before court, it simply is not as good evidence about May 1st what actually happened that day, but then also it just simply does not comply with the statute because the statue says that the calibration needs to be done … I argue it says simply no calibration shall be valid for longer than six months … and so what I argue is that that means it has to be done in the six months before the stop, not after the stop.

As you can see, arguing about tuning fork certificates is quite technical about the statute and what exactly happened. If you having a speeding or reckless driving by speed case, you should definitely get my free book so you can learn more about it and definitely contact me so we can go ahead and discuss the facts of your case.

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.

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