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Can I challenge the reading of the radar or laser device in my speeding ticket case?

Yes and No. While you can always set the matter for a trial, a recent Ohio Supreme Court has significantly helped the State of Ohio, and has significantly limited what arguments you can make about the device used to calculate your speed.

What can't I challenge?

In Brook Park v. Rodojev (2020), an almost unanimous Ohio Supreme Court held that the results of a speed-measuring device that uses radar or laser technology are admissible in court without any testimony from an expert that the scientific principles used by that technology is reliable. In other words, prosecutors no longer need to prove that the reliability of the science behind the radar or laser device that calculated how fast you were going. The Ohio Supreme Court has now ruled that the science is reliable and admissible; no further argument on that matter can be entertained by a trial court.

This ruling significantly benefits the prosecution and harms the defendant. The reliability of the science behind the machines police officers use to calculate a motorist's speed has always been a contested issue in speeding ticket cases. Many cases have resulted in not guilty verdicts or dismissals on this very issue.

What can I still challenge?

The accuracy of the particular machine used to calculate your speed (i.e. was it working properly, when was it last calibrated, was the machine held at the correct angle, etc.) and the qualifications of the officer using the machine can still be challenged. The Court refers to this type of evidence as the "weight" of evidence. In other words, you can challenge the credibility of the operation of the machine or the officer's training to properly use the machine.

However, now that the Court has ruled the science is reliable, the presumption, even if rebuttable, is that the speed recorded on the machine is accurate unless you can find a flaw in the machine's use or the officer's training.

What should I do now if I have a speeding ticket?

Talk with an experienced trial attorney who understands the law, the limitations on what you can attack in court, and the best methods to challenge the credibility of the speed recorded in your case. If the attorney isn't aware of this new change in the law, your defense theory could be thrown out by the judge and you'll lose your trial.

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