[VIDEO] Reckless Driving Defense: Can the officer identify his tuning forks?
One defense that you may be unaware of and that I’ve even seen some lawyers skip over, is whether or not the officer can identify his tuning forks from a big, long list. Contact me today to see what defense options are available in your case.
Can the officer identify his tuning forks? Let’s talk about that.
Hi, I’m Andrew Flusche, your Virginia reckless driving defense lawyer. One defense that you may be unaware of and that I’ve even seen some lawyers skip over, is whether or not the officer can identify his tuning forks from a big, long list. What you see in some situations with tuning fork calibrations for reckless driving by speed cases or for speeding cases in Virginia, is that the officer comes to court with a calibration of tuning forks and it’s just a big chart with all these serial numbers for tuning forks on it. If you ask an officer, which one is yours? No offense to them but sometimes they stumble a little bit and they need to be able to identify which of those tuning forks are actually the tuning forks that were used for your stop.
Now, if you’re not familiar with what the tuning forks are, we’ll have other videos and articles online about how the tuning forks are used and how they operate. Essentially, it’s a musical tuning for that the officer uses to check their radar for accuracy before and after their shift each day and if the officer doesn’t have a proper calibration dated within the past 6 months for their tuning forks, the tuning fork evidence and the actual speed determination from that should not be admissible in court. Therefore, it’s very important that not only we see if the officer has a calibration document, which I’ve discussed in other videos, it’s also important that the officer can testify that their tuning fork that they used on the day of your stop are actually listed on that calibration document, so it’s a critical piece of evidence.
Now, some officers will simply have a little note where they can say, “Oh, yeah. My tuning forks are serial number XYZ and ABC.” Some officers will actually note it on the summons itself. It might actually have several couple of little numbers there, which are the serial numbers for their tuning forks. Sometimes you may have an officer who simply cannot remember, or doesn’t know for some reason, the actual numbers on their tuning fork and can’t testify that their numbers are actually on the page that they produced as a calibration. That should be a defense that can be leveraged and maybe the job would accept, he should accept to hopefully dismiss the case if it’s a case based on speed.
Again, the tuning forks have to be identified on the calibration, especially if it’s one of these calibrations where there’s a whole bunch listed. Even if it’s not. Even if it’s just a 1 page calibration with a serial number on it, the officer needs to be able to testify that that is for sure his tuning forks, that he knows that these are the proper calibrations because the police departments might have given out a stack of calibrations one day when they got all the tuning forks done and that officer needs to be able to be sure that he received the proper document that day at the station.
This is why the officer needs to be able to identify his tuning forks when you have a reckless driving by speed case or a speeding case in Virginia. If you’re charged with either of those offenses, definitely give me a call so that we can discuss your defenses and how I can maybe help you to get the case reduced or dismissed.