Usually, when you are stopped for speeding, the cop has you dead to rights. You were driving a bit lead-footed, and you set off the radar unit in the patrol car. However, there may be some cases in which you can fight it. Last month, in the case of State v. Green, a case arising out of Middlesex County, the New Jersey Appellate Court ruled that the laser speed-measuring device known as the "Stalker Lidar" has not been proven to be scientifically reliable in New Jersey. The Court noted that although laser devices are generally accepted in the scientific community, in this case, there was no evidence as to the internal workings of the device. The court observed:
"We do not know whether the accuracy of the Stalker Lidar device has been established through independent testing. In short, the device has not been established as scientifically reliable in New Jersey. As a consequence, it may not be used in the trial courts as proof of speed until its accuracy has been established."
This is, of course, not the end of the story, as the appellate judges merely sent the case back to the lower court on the accuracy of the laser.
“The determination of the scientific reliability of the Stalker Lidar shall be determined by the Law Division on remand. If the device is determined to be accurate and reliable, the matter shall be remanded to the municipal court for a new trial on the municipal charge of speeding, which shall be conducted in accordance with this opinion.”
Should, at some point, the “Stalker Lidar” laser be proven to be scientifically accurate, then it will join the ranks of the K-55 Radar Unit as a generally accepted reliable piece of technology that can nail you for speeding. However, in the meantime, if you are stopped for speeding, and the ticket says that a “Speed Measurement Device” was used, it would be a good idea to contact my office for a free consultation and find out if it was radar or laser. It could make a big difference in your case.