Does a speeding motorist have the right to see the radar gun?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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In general, a speeding motorist is not legally entitled to see the radar gun used to pull him over. If you ask the police officer to show you the radar gun, s/he will typically only show you as a courtesy, or at times in order to deter future speeding.

Does an Officer Have to Show Me The Radar Gun?

No state law requires an officer show you his radar gun. In fact, a police officer does not have to show you the radar or laser gun because it is located in the front seat of the police car. Many police officers do not want a person to have access to their front seat or their vehicle because that person may touch or take something they shouldn’t.  

What Should I Do If I Have Been Pulled Over with a Radar Gun?

As an accused speeder, you do have certain rights when caught with a radar gun. You can challenge the police officer’s radar training and you can subpoena the calibration records for the radar or laser gun that was used to determine your speed. The radar has to be calibrated at certain intervals, and if it has been more than a certain number of days since it was calibrated, you could win your case. In other words, if it was supposed to be calibrated every 10 days, and you got your ticket 11 days after it was last calibrated, you may be able to challenge the ticket successfully. If you want to know the calibration laws in your state, they generally are available on your state government’s website or by calling the police department.

Getting Help for Your Radar Gun Infraction

If you plan on fighting a traffic ticket or trying to get the ticket thrown out because of an improperly calibrated radar gun, you should seriously consider getting legal help. A lawyer can assist you in building your case and maximizing your chances of success getting rid of the ticket – especially for ticket cases involving radar guns and other faulty equipment.

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