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Radar Detector Laws in Virginia

It is illegal in Virginia to use a speed detection device, otherwise known as a radar detector. This includes laser detectors, radar jammers, and other devices that are commonly sold online, through infomercials, or in certain law enforcement stores in other states. Many other states, especially states on the East Coast, do not have laws prohibiting the use of radar detectors.

In Virginia, however, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a radar detector plugged into a source of power in a person’s vehicle. This means that even if a person has the radar detector on their dash, in their glove box and turned off, and not connected to a source of power, they will still be found in violation.

Radar Enforcement

Police use radar detector detectors to aggressively combat the use of radar detectors in Virginia. There are a variety of different radar detectors available on the market that make different claims about their efficacy and some of them even claim that they are not detectable by the police radar detector detectors. Even in such a case, a person can assume that if they are operating a vehicle with a radar detector in Virginia, they will be stopped and issued a ticket for illegal use of radar detectors, and their radar detector will be forfeited.

Radar Jammers

A radar jammer is a piece of equipment that claims to block the frequencies that radar equipment uses to determine the speed of a person’s vehicle. Virginia Code Section 46.2–1079 makes it illegal on the highways of the Commonwealth of Virginia to operate any device or mechanism, passive or active, that can detect or purposely interfere with the measurement and use of a radar, LIDAR, or any other speed detection equipment used by law enforcement. Additionally, a person cannot sell them, and they cannot possess them. The charges are a misdemeanor, however, it does not carry any points if the person is found in any violation.

How a Lawyer Can Help

A lawyer is not necessary for a person to receive their radar detector back after being charged with violating Code Section 46.2–1079. As mentioned in that code section, the arresting officer takes the mechanism until the trial date. It is returned at the person’s request or it can be mailed to them. The person has to pay the mailing and service fees, though, in order to have it mailed to back; otherwise, the person can pick it up from the property section of the local law enforcement agency that is holding it.

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