Did a radar gun say you were speeding? Don't rush to plead guilty

If you are like most Georgia residents, you don't always keep your eye on the speedometer while driving. You've probably driven the same roads so many times that you do it without thinking. You more than likely even know what the posted speed limit is on those roads, so you don't really pay too much attention to the signs anymore.

Until, one day when you see a police car sitting on the side of the road with a radar gun sticking out of the window. As you pass, you see the patrol car turn around to follow you. Before you realize it, you find yourself sitting on the side of the road waiting for the officer to approach. You end up getting a speeding ticket. You may be tempted just to plead guilty and pay the fine, but that might not be a good idea.

Radar guns are not infallible

Regardless of whether a particular police department uses traditional Doppler effect radar guns or ones with laser technology, they aren't infallible. You may challenge your ticket based on one of the two following premises:

  • Training: Before using either type of device, police officers must receive training and certification on the devices used. The training program used must also meet certain certification requirements. If an officer did not have the appropriate training, this could mean that the device's reading was inaccurate.
  • Calibration: Each device requires calibration. If not done correctly or when required, you could argue that the machine did not return an accurate result. Most manufacturers recommend calibrating a device prior to each use, but many departments have more lax schedules for calibration.

Neither of these arguments guarantees a dismissal of your ticket, but if you fail to even attempt the argument, you may find yourself stuck with the ticket, the fine and any points it puts on your license.

Radar gun results may be challenged

You may only accumulate a certain number of points on your license before it gets suspended. Each ticket you receive adds more points and brings you closer to that possibility. You lose nothing by challenging the results of the radar gun and the ticket. It may take some time, money and effort, but the results may be worth it. Before going to court, it may be worthwhile to obtain an understanding of your rights and knowledge regarding how to obtain the information you need in order to make your challenge.

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