Speedometer Calibrations in Reckless Driving Cases

May 19, 2022 | General

A trained mechanic can perform a speedometer calibration to fix your vehicle’s speedometer to provide a more accurate result. A speedometer calibration usually involves placing the car on a dynamometer, which measures the spinning of the wheels to determine how fast the vehicle would be traveling if on the road. Mechanics can then tune the speedometer to match the dynamometer’s measurement. 

A speedometer calibration after you have been charged with reckless driving due to excessive speeding could provide you with an important defense against your charge.

Should I Have My Speedometer Calibrated After a Reckless Driving Ticket?

If you have been charged with reckless driving due to excessive speed, and you believe your speedometer showed a slower speed than the police officer said you were going, you should consider having your vehicle’s speedometer calibrated. If the calibration reveals that your speedometer showed a lower speed, you could use the calibration in your defense against the reckless driving charge. 

However, for the calibration results to be admitted into evidence at your reckless driving trial, the testing must have been done by a certified mechanic in Virginia who provides authenticated test results.

How Speedometer Calibrations Can Impact a Reckless Driving Case

If a speedometer calibration shows that you thought you were traveling at a slower speed, you could use the calibration to persuade the prosecution to reduce the reckless driving charge to a standard speeding ticket. That could help you avoid the possibility of serious criminal penalties in the event of a conviction. 

Alternatively, you might use the calibration to persuade the court to impose a more lenient sentence if you are convicted of reckless driving.

If the calibration shows that the speedometer indicated a faster speed than what the officer charged you with, you will not have to provide the testing results unless it is requested by the prosecution.

Causes of Speedometer Discrepancies

Even when new from the factory, a vehicle’s speedometer can vary from the vehicle’s actual speed by 1 to 3 mph. The discrepancy can increase over time with normal wear and tear. Speedometer discrepancies can also be made even worse due to problems with the engine, transmission, or tires. 

Get Help from a Virginia Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer

If you have been ticketed and charged with reckless driving in Virginia, you need to act quickly to protect your rights. Reckless driving constitutes a criminal offense that could result in jail time or other serious penalties. 

Contact Upton Law, PLLC, today for a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options and potential defenses against the charges you face. With a knowledgeable Virginia reckless driving defense attorney, it could be possible to have the charges against you reduced or dropped.