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Can I contest a ticket produced from radar gun evidence?

A California police officer standing in a secluded place with a radar gun to catch speeders is not an uncommon sight. Many motorists will attest to being pulled over by a police official and ticketed because the radar gun claimed that they were driving over the speed limit. However, you might believe your speedometer said otherwise and contest your ticket in court. How likely is a court to accept that argument? Unfortunately, not very likely.

As Lifehacker points out, a motorist who has been ticketed due to a radar gun readout probably is not going to make headway with a judge simply by saying that the radar gun did not match the vehicle's speedometer. It is the word of your vehicle against the word of the radar gun, and the judge is going to want solid evidence that the gun inaccurately read your vehicle's speed. Simply broaching the possibility is not enough. Judges will generally accept the results presented by the police officer for a number of reasons:

  • The officer is sufficiently trained in the use of the radar gun
  • The officer has recently completed a yearly test or certification
  • There is no certified technical problem with the gun used

To make a convincing defense that you were not speeding, you would have to demonstrate fault with the gun used or the officer operating it. You would need to show that the officer was not properly trained. You could also demonstrate a fault with the gun by finding out if it was not calibrated in a recent time frame. Radar guns are sensitive instruments and require regular maintenance, so a failure to do so could cast doubt on the results produced by the gun.

However, even these arguments will not guarantee that your speeding ticket will be dismissed. It is up to the motorist to determine how far to go in contesting a speeding ticket resulting from a radar gun readout.

Please be aware that this article is written to educate you on laws governing traffic and does not provide you with any legal advice.

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