What is the Difference Between M-Radar and S-Radar?

running radar

If you received a reckless driving by speed ticket or a speeding ticket in Virginia, in the area where it describes the charge on your ticket, the officer may have made notes. Typically it will show the actual speed you are charged with. Sometimes it will say “speeding” or “reckless driving by speed”, or sometimes just the letters “RD” for reckless driving.

Two different things you may see in that section are “m-radar” and “s-radar.” What do those stand for? Some people think that the m-radar or the s-radar indicates the type of radar that was used, or the brand, or something of that nature. Unfortunately, that’s incorrect.

What m-radar and s-radar on Virginia tickets stand for is mobile radar or stationary radar. This indicates whether the officer was sitting still or moving when he used his radar to pick up your speed.

It can be surprising to some folks that the officers can even use mobile radar. Some people don’t understand that their radar devices do work in mobile mode. They can be driving along and running radar at the same time. They do not have to be stationary. That would be what the m-radar signifies, that their vehicle was in motion when they were using the radar to pick up your speed.

S-radar is your typical stationary radar where the officer is sitting somewhere monitoring traffic, and your vehicle comes through its radar beam while he is sitting still. He would write s-radar on the ticket for that.

The most important thing to understand about all this is that the officer does not have to write any of this on the ticket. This is all optional information that the officer does not have to put on the ticket. The ticket really just has to notify you about the nature of the charge against you. It doesn’t have to set forth the evidence about how the officer is claiming he got your speed.

But, if the officer does write m-radar or s-radar or something else on your ticket, then we definitely need to make note of that for court. If the officer in court claims he got your speed by some other method, then we could possibly argue that he doesn’t remember the facts correctly. If he wrote stationary radar on the ticket and he comes into court and is arguing laser, for example, then that would cause great doubt about how he actually measured your speed and if you’re actually guilty of the offense.

If you’re accused of a traffic or misdemeanor offense in Virginia, you should definitely contact a Virginia speeding ticket lawyer today so we can look at your ticket together and analyze your case to see what may happen.

Photo by: On the road

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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