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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

How Your Vehicle’s Speed is Detected in Florida

Can I say No if a Police Officer Wants to Search My Car?

If you have been given a speeding ticket in Florida by a law enforcement officer, you can fight it with the help of a traffic ticket attorney like Miami based Albert Quirantes, Esq. You cannot be convicted of a speeding offence if the way your speed was detected was inaccurate. Florida uses 5 different ways of detecting the speed of a vehicle and there are many ways that the accuracy of these methods can be challenged. The main reasons for inaccuracies are:

• The officer using the method is insufficiently trained; • The equipment needs regular calibrating but this has not been done; • The equipment is inherently unreliable in the conditions it was used.

The fact that Florida still uses one or another of the five detection methods is a little unusual. Many other states have given up using some of the methods that are more commonly proven to have inaccuracies. Some states restrict the use of speed detection devices to police officers specially trained to use them.

Methods of detection

There are 5 methods used to detect speed in Florida. A ticket attorney will want to know which method has been used to detect your speed as the specific inaccuracies in each method can be used in challenging an alleged speeding offense. These are the methods:

• Pacing; • Radar; • Vascar; • Laser; • Aircraft monitoring.


Pacing involves a police officer keeping pace with a suspected speeding motorist while keeping an eye on the odometer. This has to be done for a full two tenths of a mile. Poor visibility, e.g. at night, in heavy rain or snow, pacing by maintaining a short distance behind the vehicle being monitored, distractions from traffic, an inability to keep the right distance and speed while monitoring the odometer are all potential inaccuracies which a good attorney could challenge.


Radar came out years ago, but the technology has improved over the years. It uses high frequency radio waves to bounce off an oncoming vehicle. It is the ‘echo’ that is used to measure speed. The device used must be independently and regularly calibrated, as well as by the officer using it. Inaccuracies that can be challenged result from use in poor weather or at a long distance. The radar ‘cone’ is more than a single lane wide at a longer distance, so it is quite possible for the speed to be detected by mistake off a vehicle in an adjoining lane, especially a large vehicle like a truck.


Vascar, short for ‘Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder’, is a sort of sophisticated electronic stopwatch. The officer uses a known marked distance on the road being monitored and manually activates the recorder when a vehicle passes the start and end points. The speed is measured against the officer’s odometer by connecting the device to it.

Inaccuracies results when the officer can’t see when the vehicle is passing either marker clearly enough or there has been a failure to calibrate the odometer or timer regularly.


This is like radar, but uses a narrow beam of light to bounce off an oncoming vehicle. An attorney can challenge a laser reading if it can be shown that the officer using it was not an expert. Laser devices must be held extremely steadily for an accurate measurement. A failure to hold a laser gun steadily can result in readings off other objects, including other vehicles.

Aircraft monitoring

Aircraft may be used to detect a vehicle’s speed. Normally, the aircraft uses a known distance on a highway. A stopwatch is used to measure a vehicle’s speed over the distance as observed from above. The information about a suspected speeding driver is then relayed to an officer on the ground who is then expected to independently verify the speed. Similar inaccuracies to the Vascar method are inherent in this method of detection. The other point is that both officers must turn up to court if the ticket is challenged. If one or both do not show up, or don’t remember the details, your ticket will be dismissed.

Use an attorney to help fight your speeding ticket

In the Miami area, contact renowned and dedicated attorney, Albert Quirantes, Esq. You can contact his law firm at 305-644-1800. It’s just two blocks west of the Miami Marlins ball park at 1815 NW 7th St., Miami, FL 33125.

Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer

For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.

Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.

If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.

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