Police Radar Detectors in Virginia
A police radar detector is a device that is used to detect if your vehicle speed is being monitored by police using a radar gun specifically. Typically drivers use these so that they can detect law enforcement officers before law enforcement officers have a chance to detect them, which in turn can help them avoid speeding tickets, in theory.
The way that this works is by detecting the radio waves that are transmitted by radar guns before the radar guns are close enough to detect the speed of the vehicle.
Legality of Radar Detectors in Virginia
It is illegal in Virginia to operate a vehicle that is equipped with any type of device, passive or active, used to detect any mechanism employed by police officers to measure the speed of vehicles for law enforcement purposes. So if the device had no power source and was not readily accessible by anyone in the car then the person is not guilty of the offense. You can have radar detector in your vehicle; you just can’t have access to it while you’re driving.
If you’re from out of state where it is legal you should put your radar detector in your trunk. As long as the device has no power and it is not accessible, then just having it in your car is not going to be enough for a conviction. The key is that it cannot be accessible.
What Are The Penalties For Having the Radar Detector?
The penalty for having a radar detector in Virginia is a fine. There are no demerit points awarded for this violation. The officer can take the device at his own discretion if he believes that he needs it as evidence, but at the conclusion of the trial, the officer is required to return the device to the person who is charged.
What Are Some Things People Should Know About Radar Detectors in Virginia?
People should know that radar detectors only detect radar equipment, so they don’t detect every available method that police officers have of detecting a vehicle’s speed. Law enforcement officers routinely use laser equipment, which is newer and more accurate anyway, and they also can pace vehicles, which is not detectable whatsoever. Some law enforcement officers also have radar detector detectors that are able to find certain varieties of radar detectors. So it’s certainly a gamble to use a radar detector, and it’s not a fool proof way to dodge a speeding ticket.
What Are The Biggest Mistakes To Avoid Regarding Radar Detectors In Virginia?
The biggest mistake to avoid with radar detectors in Virginia is to misunderstand exactly what is illegal. Many people believe that if you just unplug the device then you’re fine, however, the device has to be inaccessible and that really is the most important thing to take away from it. You can have a broken radar detector that is right next to you, unable to detect any radar at all because it’s not working, and you can still be charged because it’s accessible.
Why Contact a Lawyer if You Are Caught With a Police Radar Detector?
A lawyer can help you understand whether you were actually charged properly because the law is a little bit confusing in terms of radar detectors. A lawyer can help you get it back if for some reason the police officer fails to do so at the end of the trial.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law
Leesburg, VA 20175
Warrenton, VA 20186