Police today have equipments and tricks that they use to catch speeders. Like everything, the methods they use can sometimes have flaws. We have found the ways to find those flaws and tricks to avoid getting a ticket, and help you fight it in court. If you play your cards right and find the faults in your ticket, you could walk away with no points on your driver’s license or fines to pay.
A laser, like a radar, is used to measure the speed of a moving vehicle. Unlike the radar, a laser uses a light beam and takes measurements based on the speed of light. It is also considerably more precise than a radar, with a beam width of one sixth of one degree.
Despite the laser’s accuracy, it is not unbeatable. Weather conditions, like rain, clouds, and fog, can significantly reduce it’s range. The laser beam also cannot go through windshield, or work off its stationary set up. In order for the laser beam to work, light must be reflected off the surface of a vehicle, which is why license plates were designed to be highly reflective. The license plate is where police usually target the laser beam.
To avoid a laser you could coat you license plate with a high gloss clear coat. It will help deflect the laser beam.
The most commonly used laser detector in the United States is the Marksman LTI 20.20. According to the manufacturer, they have a beam width of 2 feet and can reach at a distance of 1300 feet. The accuracy is said to be exact within 1 mph up to 60 mph and within 3 % for speeds over 60 mph. There are some downfalls to this unit; this laser unit has an unusual distribution of beam intensity, which causes different readings in the same aiming point. It also can detect another vehicle within 5 feet of the target.
In order to fight against a laser defense you have to know what the amount of judical notices for laser cases in the area that your ticket was issued. If there is no judicial notice entered in the state in which you are appealing your ticket, the prosecutor will need to have an expert witness to testify the reliability and accuracy of the unit. If that witness is the manufacturer’s representative, you could have him disqualified because of financial interest.
In New Jersey the Superior Court Judge Reginald Stanton stated in his June 13, 1996 ruling that he was not convinced of the accuracy of the Marksman LTI 20.20. He ruled that evidence with that unit would not be accepted in any speeding, or pending cases. Reading up on this case may help you in fighting the ticket.
While you are in court, concentrate on the training of the officer, the self-test methods used and the calibrations of the unit. What the weather conditions were, and the amount of traffic that was traveling at the time.
Photo radar is a radar speed gun hooked up to a computer system, with a camera attached. When the radar gun detects a certain speed, it takes a picture of the front (driver) and rear (license plate) of the car. Then the ticket is written up and mailed to the registered address.
To try to avoid the ticket you could put a clear coat of paint over the license plate. With the clear coat you can sill read the license plate with the naked eye, but the gloss can cause an extreme glare on the camera lens. That causes the numbers underneath to be indistinguishable, which makes the photo useless.
This type of ticket is very easy to beat in court. If the ticket does not come with a mail return receipt that requires your signature, then you simply throw away the ticket. They would have no proof that you got the ticket, and cannot prosecute you. If you do end up having to go to court one form of defense is to utilize the fact that when you are accused in court you must face your accuser, the computer cannot appear in court as a defense method for the prosecution. Another form of defense is to not identify yourself as the driver of the vehicle (sixth amendment – rights against self incrimination).
This is when an officer is in an airplane and measures the amount of time that it takes a vehicle to cover a certain distance. The officer then calculates the speed of the vehicle, and radios it to a patrol officer on the ground. That officer the stops the car and writes a ticket.
There are a few flaws to this method. When your in court you could explain that the speed of an airplane is measured in air speed, which is affected by the surrounding air. If the airplane is flying through wind the speed is slower than if the aircraft was producing the same amount of power with a tailwind. It may also be difficult to determine if it was your car that was spotted, since many cars may look alike from a distance. With this case you would need both officers in court. If both do show up in court you could request to have one of them removed from the courtroom so that you may question them separately. By questioning each officer separately you have a possibility of one contradicting another, which would give you the basis for a defense of reasonable doubt.
In other words, visual estimate means guessing. This type of ticket is easy to defeat. Although it will be very rare to get this type of ticket because the officer knows that they will have a minimal chance of defeating you in court, if you challenge his ability to visually estimate speed.
One way to challenge his ability to estimate speed is to hold out an object at arms length and drop it, then ask the officer to calculate the traveling speed of the object before it hits the ground. To make it more difficult for the officer, you could use a heavy and a light item, and drop them at the same time. All items drop at the rate of 32 feet per second, so if the officer guesses two different speeds, you will know he/she is guessing. To calculate the actual speed of the item you dropped, you measure the distance from the outstretched arm to the floor. The table provided for you bellow will give you the listing of the actual miles per hour that the object was traveling before it hits the ground.
|The distance:||The Speed:|
|3.5 ft||10.2 mph|
|4.0 ft||10.9 mph|
| 4.5 ft||11.6 mph|
| 5.0 ft||12.2 mph|
| 5.5 ft||12.8 mph|
| 6.0 ft||13.4 mph|
In this case, we will say that the officer guessed that the speed of the falling item at 5 ft was 15mph; according to the chart, he was off by 2.8mph. To calculate how far off the visual estimate of he officer is, figure out the ratio factor between the speed that you were allegedly traveling and divide it by the actual speed of the item you dropped. Lets say that you ticket was for traveling 65 in a 55 mph zone, you would divide 65 by the actual speed of the item you had dropped from 15 ft which is 12.2.
This will give you a ratio of 5.3. Since the officer estimated that, the object dropped was traveling at 15 mph he was off by 2.8 mph. Multiply 2.8 times the 5.3 ratio factor and you will find that the officer was off by as much as 14.9 mph in his visual estimate. At this point, you have defeated the officer, and the judge is just waiting for your motion to dismiss.