Although speeding violations are often thought of as common and relatively inconsequential, the truth is that, once a driver enters criminal speeding territory, the long-reaching impacts on one’s record and future increase significantly. In fact, criminal speeding encompasses a broader variety of situations than one may think, and it can depend on an officer’s discretion in any given case.
If you, or someone you know, has been charged with criminal or excessive speeding in Kingman, AZ, chances are the case and citation are probably out of one of the following courts: Kingman Cerbat Justice Court, Kingman Municipal Court, or Mohave County Superior Court. No matter what Arizona case your citation or case is out of, a Kingman criminal speeding lawyer could help you through the court process, protect your rights, and try for the best possible outcome. Do not hesitate to speak with a skilled defense attorney.
What counts as Criminal, or Excessive, Speeding?
According to the Arizona Revised Statutes, criminal speeding can be classified as:
- Exceeding 35 mph approaching a school crossing
- Exceeding the posted limit in a business or residential district by 20 mph
- Exceeding 45 mph in a residential area if no speed limit is explicitly posted
- Exceeding 85 mph in all other locations
If convicted, you will be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor, which could result in a fine up to $500, one year of probation, and a 30-day period in jail. Unlike Civil speeding tickets, you will not have the automatic option to dismiss all charges by defensive driving school, and the excessive speeding citation will appear on your criminal record for background checks, which carries grave consequences for insurance rates, employment, housing, immigration, and education.
How is Speed Enforced in Arizona?
According to our head Attorney Brandon White, there are several methods that officers in Arizona employ to measure and enforce speed. Here are some of the most common, arranged in order from least reliable to most reliable:
Some officers may, in fact, issue a criminal speeding ticket based on their visual estimate of the speed that you were traveling. While they may be certified in estimating speed, this method is incredibly subjective and rarely used because of its lack of reliability.
Pacing is the method by which an officer follows a suspect vehicle for a certain distance with his/her patrol vehicle, trying to neither gain nor fall behind the driver. This means the officer attempts to keep an equal distance between the front of their patrol vehicle and the rear of the driver’s vehicle. The officer then reads/monitors their patrol vehicle’s speedometer and uses that speed reading to base a traffic stop and possibly cite the speeding vehicle. It is expected though no required of Officers to ensure their patrol vehicle’s speedometer is calibrated to ensure it’s reading correctly. But this is not always the case. In addition, this method is vulnerable to faulty readings, since an officer may be accelerating at the time of the reading, or their own speed is fluctuating and not actually keeping an equal distance at all times.
Radar is a commonly used method to measure speed, in which a radar device sends out a certain set of sound waves and measures the speed of an object based on the changes in the wave’s frequency. The type of device used by an officer depends on whether the officer is stationary or moving; for stationary officers, either handheld radar guns or vehicle mounted radar systems are used. For moving officers, only the in-car units are acceptable. Either way, these devices generally require regular calibration and a trained user to be accurate, so demonstrating a lack of such maintenance can cast doubt on the officer’s alleged speed reading and thus help your case. Additionally, since radar waves tend to branch out once emitted, an officer may be recording the speed of multiple vehicles, which means that you may not have been responsible.
Lidar is one of the more accurate methods to measure speed. It’s like radar in that it sends a wave to record a vehicles speed, but it uses highly focused lasers to do so. This device is generally handheld, so stationary officers will likely be using it. Again, regular calibration and officer training is required to produce accurate readings.
As you can see, each of these methods has its own limitations, some more severe than others. For instance, since there isn’t a consistent statute or law that necessitates that radar and LIDAR devices be calibrated, a lot of the pitfalls of speed enforcement are used to introduce reasonable doubt as to your criminal speed charges. It is important to keep in mind, however, that larger speeding infractions are harder to explain by user or instrument error.
Kingman Criminal Speeding Attorneys
As a former State Trooper and Radar Instructor, Attorney Brandon White and his Team knows the various methods that police officers use to cite people for excessive speeding, as well as their limitations and defenses. Call the experienced Kingman Criminal Speed Lawyers at The Law Offices of Brandon White for a free strategy session about your excessive speed case today!