The Baltimore area is a travel corridor for many people going to and from DC and other major cities on the East Coast. Many people who receive speeding tickets are commuters or out-of-state residents passing through on top of the thousands of Maryland residents who receive speeding tickets in the Baltimore area.
If you or a loved one received an expensive speeding ticket in the Baltimore area, you could face points on your license as well as serious fines. If you already have a history of traffic violations, you could even face a license suspension or serious increases in your insurance premiums. For help fighting a speeding ticket, contact the Baltimore speeding ticket attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today at (410) 694-7291.
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Maryland
Drivers in Maryland can be pulled over for speeding any time a police officer catches them driving above the speed limit. There is no requirement that you have to be going 5mph over the limit, nor are there other thresholds that can save you from a potential speeding ticket, but, it is possible that police might ignore minor speeding. In any case, challenging a speeding ticket often means fighting the police officer’s evidence against you, not banking on rounding errors.
For a police officer to pull you over and ticket you for speeding, they need to prove that they had probable cause to believe you were speeding. This means that they need to prove that their evidence meets that burden of proof to convict you on the ticket in court. Police often rely on people paying tickets instead of challenging them so they can get the conviction. If you challenge a speeding ticket, you may uncover technical errors or mistakes that can get you out of the ticket and help you avoid points and high insurance premiums.
One of the most common ways to challenge the ticket is by challenging the officer’s techniques in gauging your speed. Police typically track your speed in one of 4 ways:
- Estimating your speed by eye
- Estimating your speed by following you
- Timing your speed between timing lines
- Tracking your speed with a radar or lidar device.
- Using speed cameras
Challenging Police Officer Estimations for Speeding Tickets
Any estimation of your speed is going to be the least reliable method of gauging your speed, and your attorney may be able to cast enough doubt on the facts that make it impossible for the police officer to prove your speed in court. Sometimes, police will merely “eyeball” your speed. This is sometimes reliable if you passed them on the highway while they were already going the speed limit, or if they witnessed you drive by at unreasonably high speeds. Police may also follow you in their car, estimating your speed by tracking their own vehicle’s speed. This is sometimes reliable if you are driving on a flat road and the police officer maintains an even following distance. Any problems with these techniques might make it impossible to convict you of speeding.
Challenging Timing Lines for Speeding Tickets
Challenging a police officer’s timing can be more difficult. Judges often consider timing a car to be strong proof of speeding. For this kind of proof, the police officer will pick two stationary objects or two painted timing lines and use a stopwatch to time how long it takes the driver to pass from one line to the next. Some simple math can tell the police officer the driver’s average speed on that stretch of road, which gives the officer room for error if the driver changes speed between the lines. These cases can be challenged, however, if the officer did not use stationary timing lines, looked away from the car, or failed to use a calibrated timing device.
Challenging Police Radar and Lidar in MD
Both state and local cops in Maryland can use radar and lidar “guns” to track a car’s speed. Radar (Radio Detection And Ranging) and lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) project either radio waves or light at a target object and gauge its speed by calculating the range and the time it takes for the waves to bounce off the target. These devices can gauge speed pretty accurately and reliably, making them excellent tools for law enforcement. Typically, the only way to prove that the police officer was mistaken in gauging your speed is to prove that they used the gun wrong or that the gun was not working properly. If the police officer was pointing the gun at another car or there were multiple vehicles close to each other, it will be difficult for the officer to prove that their radar or lidar gun told them your speed and not another car’s speed. Additionally, if the gun was broken or had not been calibrated recently enough, there is no way of safely relying upon its reading, and the ticket should be thrown out.
Challenging Speed Cameras in Maryland
Some jurisdictions in Maryland allow the use of speed cameras, including Baltimore. These cameras either use radar or lidar to calculate your speed, or they time how long it takes to get from one camera to another so they can track your speed. These cameras are sometimes uncalibrated, and tickets can be challenged in many ways.
Call Our Baltimore Speeding Ticket Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you received a speeding ticket after being pulled over or you received a speeding ticket in the mail from a traffic camera, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today. Our Baltimore speeding ticket lawyers work to challenge speeding tickets and other traffic offenses in Maryland, fighting to get tickets dismissed to keep your premiums low and keep points off your license. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.