What if I think my speedometer is wrong?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 45,244
    Attorney Steve Duckett discusses what to do if you think your speedometer might be wrong and you want to fight your speeding ticket.

    Steve Duckett

    Steven L. Duckett, Jr. was born and raised in the DC suburbs of Northern Virginia.  He attended Paul VI High School (1990), University of Richmond (1994) and Valparaiso University School of Law (1997).  Mr. Duckett has spent the entirety of his legal career practicing in criminal and traffic law.  He created the law firm of Steven L. Duckett, Jr., P.C. in April 2001. 

    Host: What if I think my speedometer is wrong?

    Steve Duckett: Well, if you're charged with speeding and you think that your speedometer might not be accurate, you need to verify that before you go to court. You can look in the phone book; you can just call a couple of different auto body shops, but what you will need to do is take the vehicle in and get it certified on a specific kind of machine. In Virginia they use something called the dynamometer and this produces certificate that shows if the true speed of the vehicle is 25, it shows what the speedometer reading is and it goes upwards and onwards from 25 through whatever speed you are charged with dealing. If your speedometer is inaccurate, you will need to get a certificate from the engineer who performs this test on your vehicle and it's a good idea to find a place that can not only produce that kind of certificate, but can produce one and certify it in some way. Many times they'll have a seal or something that they can put on and to show that it's authentic. A judge will be much less persuaded by something that's written up on a -- Cocktail Napkin by your cousin who happens to work in an auto body shop. Make sure it looks legit, make sure it is legit because judges in traffic courts see these things all the time and they know the reliable places to go and get your speedometer calibrated. The benefit of having a speedometer calibration is, if you are charged with a sort of middling speeding charge and you can come into court and show that your speedometer was off by good amount, you may be eligible to get the charge reduced to something other than speeding such as defective equipment and in many states a defective equipment conviction doesn't carry points.