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Getting out of a ticket with speedometer calibration error?

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ohokay

Junior Member
#1
What is the name of your state? Virginia.

I got a ticket, 64 in a 45 (I could've sworn I was going over 80, oh well). No need to draw things out, I was obviously speeding. Officer asked me if I knew what the speed limit was, and I (honestly) said that I didn't know. I also said I had no clue how fast I was going, which is also true, because I was making a sort of complicated pass (the reason why I was speeding to begin with) and I would've been a complete moron to take my eyes off the road to look at the speedometer. I didn't argue with him and everything went well, we were both kind to each other and I went on my unhappy way.

I'm pretty sure I won't be able to get out of this one, but I can probably get it reduced. I have a friend who works at an auto shop who might be able to write me up a speedo calibration error of about 10 - 13 mph. Now I have two questions:

1. Will the judge have no option but to buy this? He could write me a faulty instrument whatever but I'd much rather have that than a speeding ticket.

2. Last time I went to traffic court, some guy got a ticket reduced to 55 in a 50. Then the judge leaned over to him and quietly said, "I don't even know if that'll stick." What did he mean by this? Is there some kind of margin of error where tickets like that are automatically thrown out?
 


#2
It is your responsibility BEFORE taking your vehicle on the road to ensure that your vehicle meets all safety standards, including a properly calibrated speedometer. A sympathetic judge MIGHT show leniency for such an issue, but I have seen such defenses raised in court and have not yet seen it make a difference when it came to a guilty sentence.

By the way, passing another vehicle is not a legally valid defense to speeding.
 

racer72

Senior Member
#3
The faulty speedometer is number 3 on the list of the top 10 lame excuses used in traffic court. Needing to use a restroom is number 1 on the list.
 

efflandt

Senior Member
#4
What if the officer gave you a break (less than 20 over), and reveals the speed he actually clocked you at if you try to fight it ("I could've sworn I was going over 80")?
 
#5
hell, I got a speeding ticket and I had a broken speedo cable and was waiting for the part to come in so I could fix the thing.

Guess who didn;t care.


as the occultist stated; it is your responsibility to have your vehicle in proper working condition.
 

ohokay

Junior Member
#6
It is your responsibility BEFORE taking your vehicle on the road to ensure that your vehicle meets all safety standards, including a properly calibrated speedometer. A sympathetic judge MIGHT show leniency for such an issue, but I have seen such defenses raised in court and have not yet seen it make a difference when it came to a guilty sentence.

By the way, passing another vehicle is not a legally valid defense to speeding.
Yeah I don't plan on getting a landslide victory or something, I'm planning to get it at least a bit mitigated. And I know that passing another vehicle is not a valid excuse for speeding, there are no excuses for speeding, or so they say. However in my situation it was actually much safer to do that than cut somebody off. But since the law is just a machine, that could never be an "excuse," even though in reality it is.

The faulty speedometer is number 3 on the list of the top 10 lame excuses used in traffic court. Needing to use a restroom is number 1 on the list.
I don't give the slightest damn how lame it is. If I bring in something like that what is he going to tell me? "Oh you should have fixed it yourself immediately in the driveway before setting off?" Please. I can dismantle and disable my entire cluster within 10 minutes, I'm still considering whether I even go to court but the fact of the matter is that I do find it idiotic. Rarely do I ever go more than 10 miles over (unless I'm on the interstate), and the one time that I make a 7-second sprint I get nailed. Money is money and if my insurance premiums are bound to go up I'm pretty motivated to at least give it a shot.

What if the officer gave you a break (less than 20 over), and reveals the speed he actually clocked you at if you try to fight it ("I could've sworn I was going over 80")?
Are you sure that's possible? He wrote down 64, 64 is 64. Are they even allowed to give breaks like that? What state do you live in? Kind of seems ridiculous but then again so is this entire game.

The thing that's working the most for me at this point is that I have a completely clean record.
 
#7
Wow, you have a rather unfortunate attitude.

Yes, officers are allowed to give breaks, and it was pretty nice of that officer to give you a break. If you do not agree with what the officer did, you can bring that up in court and they can issue you a new citation for your 80mph violation.

And, for the record, the safest thing to do was to not pass to begin with if it meant exceeding the speed limit; that way, you wouldn't have had to make the tough decision of whether or not to cut somebody off. :rolleyes:
 

ohokay

Junior Member
#8
Wow, you have a rather unfortunate attitude.

Yes, officers are allowed to give breaks, and it was pretty nice of that officer to give you a break. If you do not agree with what the officer did, you can bring that up in court and they can issue you a new citation for your 80mph violation.

And, for the record, the safest thing to do was to not pass to begin with if it meant exceeding the speed limit; that way, you wouldn't have had to make the tough decision of whether or not to cut somebody off. :rolleyes:
HA, I knew the :rolleyes: icon would show up at least once in this discussion. I appreciate your help and your concern for my attitude, but honestly, you have absolutely no idea of exactly what the situation was or why I had to make a pass.

Anyways, getting back to the topic, how can cops just claim that you were going faster? Do they have a way of proving that? If there's a risk that he's going to say that then it's probably smarter for me to just pay it. What state are you in?
 
#9
=ohokay;1823096], how can cops just claim that you were going faster?
because the law (in some states) allows that.

Do they have a way of proving that?
In some states, the officers tesimony of the speed is actually more critical than a radar reading and more acceptable as evidence. They are trained to judge speed.

Haven;t looked up you rparticular states laws as to the applicablility of these points.

I'm pretty sure I won't be able to get out of this one, but I can probably get it reduced. I have a friend who works at an auto shop who might be able to write me up a speedo calibration error of about 10 - 13 mph.
Unless he is qualified (in the eyes of the courts) and can support these qualifications, his statement is meaningless. He will have to prove how he can determine what the correct speed is. You will need him to testify to the facts and if he perjures himself, either in court or in an affidavit, he can be charged for that crime. Is he willing to risk this?
 

ohokay

Junior Member
#10
Unless he is qualified (in the eyes of the courts) and can support these qualifications, his statement is meaningless. He will have to prove how he can determine what the correct speed is. You will need him to testify to the facts and if he perjures himself, either in court or in an affidavit, he can be charged for that crime. Is he willing to risk this?
I don't know, in VA nobody has to come in, you just bring a slip from the shop that states your speedometer has been calibrated for an error of XX. There are tons of ways to manipulate your speedo's readings, but not many people know that since 98% of the population is clueless about cars. I need to do more research though, probably not gonna go that way. My best hope is that my record is clean, but I might end up just paying the damn thing because I don't want to deal with bull****.

Either way though whatever happens, I'm going to plea guilty with an explanation. It's not like I'm gonna go in there and be like, "OMG NO I WASN'T SPEEDING!! :'("

Thanks for the replies.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#11
I don't know, in VA nobody has to come in, you just bring a slip from the shop that states your speedometer has been calibrated for an error of XX. There are tons of ways to manipulate your speedo's readings, but not many people know that since 98% of the population is clueless about cars.
And YOU are clueless about the law. It is the driver's responsibility to make sure the vehicle is in proper working order.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#13
I know, but better take a hit on that than speeding. Oh well.
You will take a hit on the speeding. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure your equipment is properly functioning. What that means is that you can't use it as an excuse for speeding.
 

FlyingRon

Senior Member
#14
You've already been given a break. At one more MPH they could have written you for reckless a very SERIOUS charge. Even if they bought the speedo error, you'd still be in violation of the same offense. The best you'd do is get a slight reduction in fines (if you were in a jurisdiction that charges by the MPH, but there's usually costs and some base fine that really doesn't make much difference).

If you have not been convicted of a traffic violation in the past few years, what you can do is ask if you can take the driving school option. If you are over 20, you can even take it on line, otherwise it's a day sitting watching stupid traffic videos over at the community college.
If you do that, they throw out the charge.
 

derba38

Junior Member
#15
It is your responsibility BEFORE taking your vehicle on the road to ensure that your vehicle meets all safety standards, including a properly calibrated speedometer. A sympathetic judge MIGHT show leniency for such an issue, but I have seen such defenses raised in court and have not yet seen it make a difference when it came to a guilty sentence.

By the way, passing another vehicle is not a legally valid defense to speeding.
Its obvious you are a cop. It sounds like you wouldn't even think twice about handing out a 300 dollar ticket, and raising someones insurance premium for 3 years.
 
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