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Your Rights to a Radar Accuracy Test page

 

You would be surprised the various police equipment actually use during their everyday job duties.

In the state of Georgia, Georgia law under Georgia code 40-14-5(b) pertinently requires that before a law enforcement officer issues you a speeding citation, he must first offer to you to test the accuracy of his radar gun at the roadside traffic stop while you wait.

OCGA 40-14-5(b)

(b) Each county, municipal, or campus law enforcement officer using a radar device shall notify each person against whom the officer intends to make a case based on the use of the radar device that the person has a right to request the officer to test the radar device for accuracy. The notice shall be given prior to the time a citation and complaint or ticket is issued against the person and, if requested to make a test, the officer shall test the radar device for accuracy.

 

Important Exceptions to 40-14-5(B)

 

  • This code section applies only to county, municipal, and campus / university type law enforcement officers. It does NOT apply, and let me repeat that because this is very important; it does NOT apply to state officers as in the Georgia State Patrol Troopers. The GSP are exempt from this code section and are not required to offer do this test.
     
  • This code section applies to RADAR guns only. It is not applicable if an officer used a Laser gun.
     
  • This code section does not provide for you any legal rights to witness this radar test being performed by the officer. The officer does not legally have to let you watch him test the radar gun.

Georgia law requires that all county and city law enforcement officers (not the Georgia State Patrol Troopers) to ďnotifyĒ you that you have the right to request the officer to test the radar device for accuracy before issuing you a citation. This is something that you NEVER EVER want to do under any circumstances.

Some points to consider:

  • If the officer asks if you want the radar device tested, politely decline. Having this test done canít possibly help your defense in any way.
     
  • If the officer does tests the device, he is NOT required by law to let you watch the test being performed.
     
  • This only applies to RADAR and NOT laser.

There is a place on the ticket used by county and city law enforcement officers that the officer MUST check if you request the RADAR accuracy test. If it is NOT checked on the ticket, then there is NO proof the officer properly notified you. He is however legally required to do so. Though it does NOT say so on the ticket itself, this applies to RADAR ONLY!


[   ] DRIVER REQUESTED ACCURACY CHECK

 
Asking for a roadside radar accuracy test is one of the, if not the biggest mistake, a person can possibly make at a traffic stop. If you ask for the radar gun to be tested, the officer will go back to his patrol vehicle, and then shortly thereafter return and announce to you that the radar gun tested perfectly accurate. He will note this on the ticket, and will testify to that fact in court. This is VERY damaging to your case and in no way can possibly help you.

All Georgia law enforcement officers, including the Georgia State Patrol are legally required to test the accuracy of their radar guns at both the beginning and ending of their daily shift, or duty tour. Georgia law further requires that these daily radar accuracy tests be recorded and maintained. That means the results of the daily tests must be written down in a log and the log maintained. Maintained for what you might ask? For a possible contested ticket of course.

It has been my experience thru my research that most officers donít bother with the daily testing of the radar gun itself, or filling out the daily radar log, and will NOT have it in court at the time of your trial.

This is an example of Trial by Ambush. In the 1000+ trials I have personally witnessed, I have only seen an officer offer up his radar log into evidence once. The reason they never bother is because they are lazy, donít care, maybe donít even have it, but most importantly know that you are ignorant of the law, so they donít bother to waste their time bringing it. They know they are going to beat you without it anyway, so why bother with the extra work. This is the key concept that Trial by Ambush exploits.

There is a clear theory in law that states ďif a radar device tests as accurate before an arrest and accurate after an arrest, then in all probability the unit was functioning accurately at the time of your arrest

Clearly we prefer no testimony of any type of an after arrest accuracy test having been done. Especially if there is no daily log to offer into evidence. You do not want this on-site test done. Donít mention it, donít ask for it, and if it is ever offered, politely decline.

The same theory in law states that if a unit was NOT tested after an arrest, then there is probable cause to believe the unit may not have been functioning correctly at the time of arrest.

This on-site accuracy radar accuracy test, or lack thereof, is used to bolster the lack of any testimony that an after accuracy test ever took place.

Also consider that if you request this radar accuracy test to be done, how do you know the officer even actually does it? He may not even have the proper tunning forks in his patrol car. You would never know this, because you are not legally allowed to watch this test being done nor or you allowed to see the tunning forks. If an officer ever offers to test his radar guns accuracy for you, donít do it. You cannot possibly benefit from this.

For what its worth, radar guns are VERY accurate. During my research I purchased several radar/laser guns for testing. They are simple to operate as well. I could teach anyone how to accurately take readings on the side of the road in less than 10 minutes. Yes, radar guns are subject to interference, failure and operator error. But the officers know all that, and rarely does that happen. Or in other words, the chance the officer will go back to his car, test his radar gun, come running back to you to let you know his gun is broken is 0%. He has probably already been using it all day, is trained to visually by sight to guess the speed of a moving vehicle, and will be confident the speed measured on his gun relates closely to ďwhat he has seen visuallyĒ. He would not have stopped you otherwise. Think about it.

  

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