Speeding Ticket by Radar
Majority of California speeding tickets are issued by the use of radar. As a result, one of the most common questions we get is “Can I fight a speeding ticket by Radar?” The answer is YES. Actually, the possibility of getting a speeding ticket by radar dismissed is much higher than other methods of speed enforcement.
In California, all law enforcement agencies must comply with the California vehicle code to issue speeding tickets by radar. Additionally, each law enforcement agency has their own policies and procedures for issuing valid speeding tickets by radar. Some law enforcement agencies have more stringent requirements than established by the vehicle code for speeding tickets by radar.
Therefore, to successfully fight a speeding ticket by radar one must have a comprehensive knowledge of the policies for the specific law enforcement agency that issued the speeding ticket by radar as well as the technical details of radar technology. It is also important to know the state’s vehicle code sections that establish the rules for issuing speeding tickets by radar.
Common arguments for how to fight speeding tickets by radar
Majority of people already know or have heard or read that in order to issue a speeding ticket by radar the police officer must have the radar unit properly calibrated. Additionally, the officer must have gone through radar training program and received a radar operator certificate in order to issue a valid speeding ticket using radar. Therefore, most people try to fight a speeding ticket by radar using the argument that the officer’s radar was not properly calibrated or the officer was not certified to operate the radar unit. Unfortunately things are not that simple because the law enforcement agencies are well aware of the requirements for the use of radar. In most cases, the officer will bring a copy of the radar calibration record and the officer’s radar certificate to court and before the defendant can bring up the issue, the officer will show the defendant and/or the judge that both of these requirements were met.
Then, the next common but ineffective defense for speeding tickets by radar is the argument that the officer’s radar picked up the speed of another vehicle (a larger vehicle). Although this may be a real and valid argument, but there must be some sort of proof that shows the claim is valid otherwise the judge will not accept that argument. This is why in order to beat speeding tickets by radar one must have detailed technical knowledge of radar technology to argue that the specific conditions on the roadway might have adversely impacted the proper operation of the radar unit and produced an erroneous result.
Another ineffective argument that is discussed on many blogs is the cosine effect. The term “Cosine effect” on radar sounds very impressive and technical to most people. However, in reality even though cosine effect will generate erroneous radar speed but the error caused by the cosine effect actually will show a lower speed than the actual speed of the target vehicle. Therefore, arguing that the recorded speed by radar was wrong due to cosine effect may not be as effective as one might think.
How to beat speeding tickets by radar?
By now, you understand that the common arguments against speeding tickets by radar may seem strong arguments but in reality they do not work in traffic court. Therefore, to beat a speeding ticket by radar one must present arguments that can be backed up by evidence or documentation to show the judge that at least there is a possibility that the officer might have made a mistake or the radar unit might have generated an erroneous speed.
Going back to the requirement that a radar unit used to issue a speeding ticket must be calibrated. Assuming that the officer does produce a copy of the radar calibration certificate, a person must also look at the date when the radar was last calibrated and compare that to the requirement under the vehicle code and the policy for the law enforcement agency that issued the speeding ticket by radar. If the date when the radar unit was last calibrated was longer than required then that becomes a very strong argument that the speeding ticket by radar is not valid.
Another simple item to check is to compare the radar unit number on the radar certificate to the radar unit number that the officer recoded on the citation to see if those numbers match. If the numbers do not match then the radar certificate does not belong to the radar that was used in the speed enforcement and the officer would have to produce the radar certificate for the specific radar unit that was actually used to issue the speeding ticket.
There are also other important items to check on the radar calibration certificate such as the calibration of the antennas and the tuning fork certificate that was used to check the radar accuracy. Another important issue that can show the radar unit was not accurate is to look at the maintenance or repair history of the specific radar unit. Should the record indicate that the radar unit required frequent repairs then that could be an argument that even though the timeline for the certificate has not passed by the particular radar unit may need to be calibrated more often than required.
On this page we have tried to describe just a few of many detailed arguments that can get a speeding ticket by radar dismissed in traffic court. In each and every case the details will be different with respect to the equipment, roadway conditions, specific type of radar device and the enforcement vehicle. That is why it is very difficult for a lay person to be able to come up with a good defense for speeding ticket issued by radar.
That is why most people use our service to fight speeding tickets by radar.