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In Virginia, what is the difference Between RADAR and LIDAR that is used by law enforcement?

Traffic Attorney Anthony Montagna
Traffic Attorney, Anthony Montagna, III, handles reckless driving and traffic cases in VA

AUTHOR: Anthony Montagna, III

As an attorney with almost 31 years of experience handling DUI charges, reckless driving charges, and other traffic violations, I would submit to you that I am an authority on traffic law in Virginia. In fact, I have handled close to 4,500 reckless driving cases since I first started practicing law in 1993. Furthermore, I handle reckless driving cases in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Virginia Beach, Accomack County, Northampton County and throughout Virginia.

Proposed Story Line:

You are driving down Interstate 64 and you get stopped by the police for reckless driving or speeding.  You do not know what speed determining device was used by the trooper.  You do not know if it was RADAR or LIDAR. 

How might you find out? How do you know if it was RADAR or LIDAR? You need to look at your summons.  The trooper might write M/R, S/R, LIDAR and the feet distance.  If you see LIDAR, you know it was laser.  If you see M/R, it is moving or mobile RADAR.  If you see S/R, it is stationary RADAR.

What is RADAR?

RADAR is an acronym for Radio Detection and Ranging.  RADAR allows the police to measure the speed of your moving vehicle. 

Usually, the law enforcement office will determine your speed by emitting a microwave from an antenna. When the antenna emits the microwave, the microwave will reflect off your vehicle.  Thereafter, the microwave will return to the RADAR unit, and your speed will be displayed for the law enforcement officer to see. 

If the officer was using mobile RADAR, his vehicle was either travelling in the same direction as your vehicle or in the opposite direction of your vehicle.  If the officer was using stationary RADAR, his vehicle was parked.

Possible Errors with RADAR:

  1. Antenna position 
  2. Look past 
  3. Cosine 
  4. Double bounce 
  5. Beam reflection
  6. Road sign
  7. Radio interference
  8. Fan Interference

What is LIDAR?

LIDAR is an an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging. LIDAR measures your vehicle speed by using light energy by a LASER device.  LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission Radiation. Law enforcement know that LIDAR is designed for stationary use only.  Because LIDAR can only be used for stationary operations, the police know that LIDAR should not be used from moving vehicles.

For LIDAR, an officer selects a single target. The officer will use his LIDAR device by aiming at a reflective spot on your vehicle.  Frequently, the officer will aim for your license plate or your headlight.

After aiming the device, the officer will press the trigger on his device.  The officer will receive a speed-reading almost immediately.

Factors affecting LIDAR

  1. Radio frequency
  2. Light devices
  3. Electrical lines
  4. Windshield
  5. Weather
  6. Low voltage
  7. Sweep effect used by officer
  8. Cosine
  9. LIDAR jammer

Major Differences Between LIDAR and RADAR

While LIDAR and RADAR are both forms of electromagnetic radiation, there are difference. LIDAR and RADAR have different frequencies and wavelength.  Additionally, RADAR can be used by the police from moving and stationary vehicles, but LIDAR is only designed for stationary use. 

Contact the Elite Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer, Anthony Montagna, III, Today!

Anthony Montagna, III

  • Winning Reckless Driving, Traffic, and DUI Cases Since 1993

  • The Lawyer that People Contact When Experience Is Important

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  • Three Convenient Locations in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Newport News

  • Discounts for Military, Students, Seniors, First Responders, Teachers and Union Workers

  • Quoted in The Virginian Pilot

  • Travelling Throughout Virginia to Defend You In Court

  • Many Clients with Speeds Over 105 MPH or BAC’s Above .15

  • Focusing His Practice on DUI, Reckless Driving, and Traffic Defense

  • Your “Go to Lawyer” for Tough DUI and Reckless Driving Cases

  • Over 140 Five Star Google Reviews

  • The Lawyer That Other Lawyers Contact For Advice and Representation

  • Representing Clients in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk,  Southampton County, Northampton County, Hampton, Newport News, New Kent County, York County, Accomack County, and All of Virginia

  • FOLLOW THIS LINK TO SEE SOME OF MY GOOGLE REVIEWS

MONTAGNA TRAFFIC DEFENSE LAW

  • 125+ Years of Combined Legal Experience at the Firm

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  • Lifting You Up When You Are Down

Some of Anthony’s Results:

Although every case is different and the results of one case do not guarantee results in a different case, some of Anthony Montagna, III’s favorable results are the following:

  1. Reckless driving, 131 mph in a 55 mph zone:  REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION WITH $150.00 fine
  2. Reckless driving, 131 mph in a 55 mph zone:  a small fine less than $500 and 2 active days in jail to serve with a delayed reporting to a weekend two and a half weeks later
  3. Reckless driving, 146 in a 55 mph zone, small fine and ONLY 5 days to serve on weekends
  4. DUI and Reckless Driving with a B.A.C. of .09 from a blood serum draw at the hospital after a very serious automobile accident with significant personal injuries and property damage: Guilty of only Reckless Driving with NO ACTIVE INCARCERATION 
  5. DUI with a B.A.C. of .24: DISMISSED
  6. DUI and Refusal:  Refusal Nolle Prosequi  (Dismissed without prejudice), DUI amended to Reckless Driving
  7. Reckless driving, 141 in a 55 mph zone, small fine and ONLY 5 days to serve on weekends
  8. Client charged with DUI (Drugs):  GUILTY OF RECKLESS DRIVING
  9. Client charged with DUI: GUILTY OF RECKLESS DRIVING
  10. Client charged with DUI, Refusal, and Revoked Operator’s License: DISMISSED
  11. Client charged with DUI and Refusal:  Client plead to Reckless Driving and refusal charge taken under advisement for one year and to be dismissed if in compliance (REFUSAL CHARGE DISMISSED)
  12. Client, a Naval office, charged with DUI and Refusal: Both charges DISMISSED
  13. DUI-Second Offense:  Client guilty of DUI-First Offense, no active jail time
  14. Client charged with DUI-First Offense and DUI-Second Offense on same day and in front of same Judge: BOTH CHARGES DISMISSED
  15. Client charged with DUI-First Offense.  Client had BAC of .18, which would normally require a mandatory minimum of 5 days in Jail.  ALL JAIL TIME SUSPENDED.
  16. Reckless driving, 131 mph in a 55 mph zone:  REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION WITH $150.00 fine
  17. Reckless driving, 118 mph in a 55 mph zone:  REDUCED TO SPEEDING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  18. Reckless driving, 112 mph in a 55 mph zoneREDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, $250.00 fine
  19. Reckless driving, 112 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  20. Reckless driving, Racing:  REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  21. Reckless driving, 110 mph in a 55 mph zoneREDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, $350.00 fine
  22. Reckless driving, 110 mph in a 55 mph zoneREDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, $500.00 fine
  23. Reckless driving, 110 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  24. Reckless driving, 110 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  25. Reckless driving, 108 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  26. Reckless driving, 107 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  27. Reckless driving, 107 mph in a 65 mph zone: DISMISSED
  28. Reckless driving, 107 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  29. Reckless driving, 106 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  30. Reckless driving, 106 mph in a 55 mph zone: GUILTY OF RECKLESS DRIVING, BUT NO ACTIVE JAIL TIME OR LICENSE SUSPENSION
  31. Reckless driving, 105 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  32. Reckless driving, 105 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  33. Reckless driving, 104 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  34. Reckless driving passing a school bus: DISMISSED
  35. Reckless driving where police officer testified that client’s vehicle crossed lanes of traffic and had vehicle almost cut in half: DISMISSED
  36. Reckless driving, 102 mph in a 55 mph zoneREDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION WITH $500.00 fine
  37. Reckless driving, 102 mph in a 55 mph zoneREDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION WITH $500.00 fine
  38. Reckless driving, 104 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION WITH $300.00 fine
  39. Reckless driving, 104 mph in a 30 mph zone: GUILTY OF RECKLESS DRIVING, BUT NO ACTIVE JAIL TIME
  40. Reckless driving, 102 mph in a 60 mph zone: DISMISSED
  41. Reckless driving, 101 mph in a 55 mph zone in Norfolk:  REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION WITH $100.00 fine
  42. Reckless driving where client’s vehicle ran off road, flipped over a number of times, hit trees, ultimately hit a house off the road, and where the police office believed client drove his vehicle over 90 mph: DISMISSED
  43. Reckless driving, client driving a motorcycle at a high rate of speed on the interstate with sudden lane change and driving between vehicles: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  44. Reckless driving, 98 mph in a 60 mph zoneREDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  45. Reckless driving, 97 mph in a 60 mph zone: DISMISSED
  46. Reckless driving, 97 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  47. Reckless driving, 97 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  48. Reckless driving, 96 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  49. Reckless driving, 96 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  50. Reckless driving, 96 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  51. Reckless driving, 95 mph in a 65 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  52. Reckless driving, 95 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  53. Reckless driving, 95 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  54. Reckless driving, 95 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  55. Reckless driving, 94 mph in a 65 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  56. Reckless driving, 94 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  57. Reckless driving, 93 mph in a 65 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING, 19 miles over the limit
  58. Reckless driving, 93 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION WITH $250.00 FINE
  59. Reckless driving 92 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  60. Reckless driving 92 mph in a 60 mph zone: DISMISSED
  61. Reckless driving, 92 mph in a 65 mph zone: REDUCED TO DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  62. Reckless driving, 92 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  63. Reckless driving, 92 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  64. Reckless driving, 91 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  65. Reckless driving, 91 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  66. Reckless driving, 91 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  67. Reckless driving 90 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  68. Reckless driving, 90 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  69. Reckless driving, 90 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  70. Reckless driving 90 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT
  71. Reckless driving 89 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  72. Reckless driving 86 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT
  73. Reckless driving 86 mph in a 60 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING
  74. Reckless driving, 86 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  75. Reckless driving, 86 mph in a 45 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  76. Reckless driving, 84 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  77. Reckless driving, 84 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  78. Reckless driving, 82 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  79. Reckless driving, 82 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  80. Reckless driving, 81 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  81. Reckless driving, 81 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  82. Reckless driving, 80 mph in a 45 mph zone: DISMISSED
  83. Reckless driving, 80 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  84. Reckless driving, 80 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION 
  85. Reckless driving, 79 mph in a 55 mph zone, REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  86. Reckless driving, 77 mph in a 55 mph zone, REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  87. Reckless driving, 77 mph in a 55 mph zone, DISMISSED
  88. Reckless driving 76 mph in a 55 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  89. Reckless driving 76 mph in a 55 mph zone: DISMISSED
  90. Reckless driving, 74 mph in a 35 mph zone: DISMISSED
  91. Reckless driving, 64 mph in a 35 mph zone: REDUCED TO DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT
  92. Reckless driving, 62 mph in a 35 mph zone: REDUCED TO IMPROPER DRIVING, A TRAFFIC INFRACTION
  93. Reckless driving, 53 mph in a 25 mph zone: DISMISSED
  94. Reckless driving, 50 mph in a 25 mph zone: REDUCED TO SPEEDING
  95. Reckless driving: REDUCED TO SPEEDING, 19 MILES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT
  96. Fifth Offense Drive on Suspended/Revoked License: DISMISSED
  97. Drive on Suspended/Revoked License: DISMISSED
  98. Drive on Suspended/Revoked License: DISMISSED
  99. Drive on Suspended/Revoked License: DISMISSED
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A Few of the Clients We Have Helped

  • "Mr. Montagna was the BEST!! I had reckless driving and 2 seatbelt violations ( one for a minor) and he got my whole case DISMISSED!! He is definitely the go to guy for your case… I couldn’t appreciate and thank him enough!"

    Sky B.
  • "Simply the best in the business. Got my 67 in a 35 mph reduced from reckless driving to an improper driving. He let me know what to do before court and I followed everything exactly. Would highly recommend him for any traffic case."

    Wesley F.
  • "Mr. Anthony Montagna understood the assignment! I am so glad I retained him. He is very professional, understanding, attentive, and easy to reach. He will make sure you get the best results as possible. Thank again Mr. Anthony and Kelly for taking care of me and serving me at my best. If anybody is thinking about looking into this law firm, please look no further!"

    Tiara S.
  • "I had a speeding ticket that was 21 over in a 30mph zone. He got my case dismissed. Whatever he asked you to get for court definitely get the paperwork. I really appreciate Anthony Montana for making my driving record go back to +5. He really knows the law and he is definitely an attorney I will use later in life if I will need him again. He does care about the people he helps in court."

    Jacob P.
  • "Mr. Montagna handles my periodic traffic offenses and always gets them dismissed. Depending on the charge he has had me take a driver improvement class, which was actually enjoyable, and my charges are always dismissed. I would never use anybody else for any kind of traffic offense. The cops seem to know him and the bailiff told me one time that I had chosen a good lawyer. Highly recommended."

    Cindy Williams
  • "Anthony helped me with a traffic ticket. His counsel was excellent and he really took the time to understand the situation and give expert guidance on how best to proceed. He got the ticket dismissed and I got points taken off my license as a result of his counsel."

    Michael Moore
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