Mount Airy, MD asked in Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Constitutional Law for Maryland

Q: How close can I approach an officer engaged in a traffic stop with another person?

Of course only legally speaking. If I was just an observer of a traffic stop in progress involving someone else, how close can I get the the car stopped or the officer doing the stop? Can I position myself behind the officer? Can I interact with the driver or passengers, specifically to give advice? Why is obstruction of justice commonly thrown around involving scenarios like this?

1 Lawyer Answer
Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Towson, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: You cannot position yourself right behind the officer or the officer may feel you pose a danger. You cannot interfere with the stop or arrest. You can film it since you are in a public place. You should not be interacting with the driver or passengers. You must obey a lawful command of the police officer.

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