How long can an officer follow you before they stop you?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How long can an officer follow you before they stop you?

An officer followed me for 4 miles before stopping me.

Asked on December 3, 2015 under General Practice, Arizona


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There is no limit as to how long a police officer may follow a car in either a public place or on a public road. The fact is that there are no privacy rights violated in being "followed" by a police officer. However, they must have probable cause to pull a vehicle over (i.e. for speeding, a broken tail light, failure to obey a traffic signal, etc.). They may then write a ticket for the offense for which they believe you committed. Of course, you may then defend yourself in court against the charge. Just because a ticket was written does not mean you are guilty of the offense.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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