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Orlando police radar gun investigation underway

Some cases could be dismissed

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando drivers who have been ticketed for speeding may be able to have their tickets dismissed.

According to an investigation done by WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Florida, a number of sheriff's departments and police stations across the state are using a radar gun which is not listed on the state's approved radar gun list.

"This is going to cause significant problems for the Orlando Police Department, and for prosecuting cases going forward," said Matt Morgan, attorney at Morgan & Morgan.

The gun in question is a Python II model. In an email to WINK, a spokesman for OPD confirmed that the department has 36 Python II models in use. The guns are used on patrol cars, airport units, and tactical units and used at all times of the day.

According to the investigation, Python II guns shoot at an angle of 15 degrees, but Florida's Administration code states that guns cannot shoot at an angle greater than 12 degrees. The three degree difference allows the gun to shoot a wider range, thus increasing the possibility of hitting multiple cars at once, or mistaking wrong speeds for different cars.

"You will see some of the cases resurrected from the dead," Morgan explains. "You will have people come forward and challenge tickets they got in the past, claiming the 'gun was defective,' and their case should be overturned."

Morgan adds that the ramifications for using defective devices could have major impacts.

"If I was representing a client, the first thing I'd say is, 'OPD show me the gun used to clock my client,'" Morgan said. "If you can't show me, I'd like the case thrown out."

Morgan explains that drivers initially pulled over for speeding, may have been arrested for a secondary offense once the stop was made. However, with the defective devices, he says those drivers could have their cases dismissed.

Orlando police have confirmed the use of the devices in their department but have yet to reveal when the radar equipment was purchased and how many drivers may have been pulled over using the Python II.