Every week I have numerous people tell me that they know for a fact they were not speeding. So I have come up with a solid way to help people from being falsely convicted of Speeding or Reckless Driving by Speed in Virginia.
Simply put, the best way to beat a Speeding or Reckless Driving by Speed charge is to be proactive with your defense!
The absolute best defense to a Speeding or Reckless Driving by Speed charge is to prove that you were not speeding with indisputable evidence. This can be accomplished by doing ALL 3 of these tasks:
1) INSTALL A VIDEO CAMERA IN YOUR VEHICLE - Install a high-quality HD color video camera with audio in your vehicle at a location inside your vehicle that captures and records your vehicle’s speedometer reading. See the picture at the top of this blog for an example. Moreover, it is strongly recommended that the video camera have a feature which shows the date and time of the video footage. If the video camera does not provide a date and time stamp of the video footage, it is strongly recommended that you somehow prove the date and time through other means such as safely holding your smart watch or smart phone up to the video camera lens so that it captures the date and time shown on your smart watch or smart phone. If the video footage does not clearly capture your speedometer reading and/or does not capture the date and time, it is meaningless and has no evidentiary value in court; and
2) GET A SPEEDOMETER CALIBRATION REPORT - Immediately after (or at the latest within 24-48 hours after) you receive a ticket from the officer you should obtain a notarized speedometer calibration report. A "speedometer calibration" is a test to determine the accuracy of your speedometer. You will be surprised how many vehicles - even brand new, luxury vehicles - have a speedometer that is not displaying its true and accurate speed. A speedometer calibration report will show whether or not the speedometer in your car was reading your true and accurate speed. This will, in turn, corroborate your video footage and overall defense. If you were driving a rental car, it would behoove you to get this done before you return it. Moreover, your speedometer calibration report must be the original version (not a photocopy) and it must be notarized by the mechanic who performed the speedometer calibration (not notarized by you). If it is not the original version and/or it is not notarized by the mechanic who performed the speedometer calibration, it is meaningless and has no evidentiary value in court. The difficulty in obtaining a notarized speedometer calibration report is that it is very rare to find a mechanic that has the correct tools to perform a speedometer calibration. Dealerships and 99% of vehicle mechanics can NOT do this service because they do NOT have the correct tools. Therefore, I have listed below a few tried-and-tested reputable mechanics that will perform a speedometer calibration and provide you with a proper notarized report that is admissible in a Virginia court (FYI - I have no personal, business or monetary relationship with these mechanics whatsoever):
(i) Beach Calibration located at 5312 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Suite D-1, Virginia Beach, VA 23462; P: (757) 490-0775.
(ii) Chesapeake Auto Center, Inc. located at 119H Tilden Avenue, Chesapeake, VA 23320; P: (757) 436-2537.
(iii) Guaranteed Auto Service, Inc. located at 5800 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23607; P: (757) 247-0220.
(iv) Auto Air of Virginia, Inc. located at 2707 Willard Road, Richmond, VA 23294; P: (804) 672-3189.
(v) Bill’s Auto Service & Discount Tire Center located at 98 Hardees Drive, Manassas Park, VA 20111; P: (703) 368-2200.
(vi) Ron’s Mobile Services Cars And Trucks, Inc. located at 1412 S. 28th Street, #5, Arlington, VA 22206; P: (703) 980-3911.
(vii) Drake Auto Shop located at 23571 Pebble Run Place, Suite 150, Sterling, VA 20166; P: (571) 244-6963.
(viii) Southern Electronics, Inc. located at 730-A Research Road, Richmond, VA 23236; P: (804) 423-1100.
(ix) M&M Collision, Inc. located at 3165 Campbell Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031; P: (703) 291-8509.
(x) Woodbridge Auto Service Center located at 13858 Dawson Beach Road, Woodbridge, VA 22191; P: (703) 494-6390.
(xi) Falls Run Car Care Center located at 1314 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401; P: (540) 899-6800.
(i) Robbie's Truck & Auto Service located at 502 S. West Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601; P: (919) 833-2966.
(ii) Caton Radio located at 6328 Baltimore National Pike, Catonsville, MD 21228; P: (410) 747-8667.
(iii) Z Brothers Servics Center, Inc. located at 9853 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19115; P: (215) 969-7355.
(iv) Northeast Speedometer Services located at 4807 Benner Street, Philadelphia, PA 19135; P: (215) 338-5577.
(v) Lee Gulian, Inc. located at 639 New York Avenue, Huntington, NY 11743; P: (631) 427-0142; and
3) PLAY THE VIDEO FOOTAGE IN COURT - Bring the video footage to court on a laptop, tablet or cell phone. A lawyer can bring these electronic devices into court with no problems. However, if you do not have a lawyer, I strongly recommend that you call the court in advance of your court date and ask them how you can go about bringing in your electronic device to court so that you can play a video during your trial. Many courts in Virginia do not allow people to bring in their electronic devices, to include their cell phones, unless they make prior arrangements to do so. The phone number for your respective court should be located on the front of the yellow ticket the officer gave you. Furthermore, when you get to court and your case is called by the judge, it is strongly recommended that if you have helpful video footage to plead “not guilty”, conduct a trial in your case, play the video footage for the judge or jury and then give the original version of your notarized speedometer calibration report to the judge or jury.
This should result in a “Not Guilty” verdict!
In my experience, I have won countless trials using video footage. The beauty to having video footage is that it is indisputable evidence. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million words in my book.
Even if you weren’t proactive in following all 3 of these steps above (which most people aren’t), it would still be highly beneficial to bring an original notarized speedometer calibration report to court that shows your speedometer is displaying a slower speed than your actual speed. This will help you mitigate and lessen your punishment.
Call me today if you need help with a Speeding or Reckless Driving by Speed ticket in Virginia. I can guarantee that you would be in great hands with me.
By Michael Huff, Esq.