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Can a Cop Follow You Home? (And Is It Illegal?)

Can a Cop Follow You Home? (And Is It Illegal?)

Seeing a cop car around can be frightening and more frightening when they follow you. The road is a public space that requires the constant observation of the police to ensure safety and proper adherence to laws. Perhaps, you have seen a cop follow a fellow commuter, and you think it is illegal.

This article provides answers to help you understand what the law clearly states about the responsibilities of the cops. Continue reading to know when it is considered legal and illegal for a cop to follow you.

Can a Cop Follow You to the House?

As long as the safety of everyone is concerned, the law does not forbid the cop from following a person. While being followed by a cop is a scary situation, there is nothing to worry about if you have done nothing wrong. A cop can follow you to your house if the situation demands it.

It’s the responsibility of the cop to maintain order and ensure nobody violates the law. The cop can follow you around to check if you violate the law. A cop can follow you to your house if they suspect any crime. They can follow you to your house to ensure you are safe and free from any danger.

A cop can follow you to your house because it is legal to do so. However, you should not worry about anything if you haven’t done anything wrong. It is just part of their job to keep everyone safe. Do not hinder the cops from doing their job. The best thing you can do is interact with them and stay calm.

Is it Illegal For a Cop to Follow You Home?

People often consider a cop following them an infringement of their rights. First, the cop does not violate your right by following you, so it is not illegal. Second, no law prohibits a cop from following you.

Under no circumstances is it considered illegal when a cop follows you home. A cop can tail you from a distance without pulling you over. While it can be an uncomfortable situation, you don’t have to be scared if you are certain you have not done anything wrong.

The law clearly defines the responsibilities of the cop, and it does not forbid the police from following a person. Chances are that you have probably violated the traffic laws, or they need to keep the streets safe.

Also, it could be a mere coincidence that the police car is following you because you are heading in the same direction. However, ensure that you gauge the condition and maintain your calm. As long as the law is concerned, it is legal for a cop to follow you to your house.

Why Do Cops Follow You Before Pulling You Over?

The cops are not trying to trap anyone into violating the law or causing discomfort. Suspicious actions or irregular driving can make them pull you over.

You are most likely to notice a cop car during a patrol. A cop can keep following you from a distance without pulling you over to guarantee you don’t violate traffic laws and ensure your safety. However, you may have probably done something illegal or suspicious for a cop to pull you over.

Also, a cop can notice some irregular behavior when you are driving and choose to follow you. They will ask you to pull over if they are sure you have violated the law, and the cop may ask to see your documents to ensure safety.

Maintain your calm when you see a cop following you. You don’t have to be scared if you didn’t do anything illegal. Drive normally until you are asked to pull over in case the cop car is driving the same direction as you.

Allow the police to do their job by cooperating when you are asked to pull over. Be smart and calm when interacting with them, and obey the cop’s directives. Do not incriminate yourself when the cops finally pull you over.

How to Tell if Cops are Following You?

The road is a public space with many commuters like yourself. However, you may want to know if a patrol car is merely driving behind or tailing you. Taking turns or parking in a public area are the best ways to know if cops are following you.

1. Take a Turn

You can never be sure police are tailing you, except if you have noticed the same type of car following you from a long distance. Taking two to three turns to your right is a good way to know if a cop is following you. Make sure you turn legally without violating the rules, so the cop doesn’t have a reason to pull you over.

2. Check to See Any Changes in Your Area

If you notice an unusual number of cop cars in your area, it could be a patrol. One of the ways to find out if you are being followed is by checking to see if things are the way they used to be in your neighborhood.

A cop can drive behind you or anybody else during a patrol. The best thing to do is to slow down to watch their car drive off. Most of the time, the police won’t drive behind you for too long except if they notice poor driving skills.

3. Park Your Car

Stop driving and park your car if you feel a cop car is following you. This is one way to know if you are being followed or the cops are just busy with their business. This is a good option if you are certain you haven’t done anything wrong. If you have taken turns and you still see the cops following you, the best way is to park your car. You will be shocked to see them drive past you.

Can a Cop Follow You For No Reason?

Knowing why a cop stops or follows you is important because it is your right. While you may not know why you are followed, the cops will only follow you because the situation demands it. Cops don’t have free time to follow someone around aimlessly. Except for cases when they are on patrol, a cop will only follow you if they notice anything suspicious.

You may have committed a traffic offense that will allow them to follow you to see if they should let you go or pull you over. While the law doesn’t stop a cop from tailing someone, it is unacceptable for a cop to stop you without reason.

Cops are responsible for checking aberrations or criminal behavior, so they will follow you if they notice anything suspicious. Most of the time, people don’t know why they are followed. The cops may observe an unusual situation that you are not aware of. The best thing you can do is allow them to do their job.

Can a Cop Follow you Out of His Jurisdiction? 

A cop’s responsibilities lie within his jurisdiction. Few exceptions allow a cop to follow someone out of his jurisdiction. However, this is only possible with the help of a backup.

While cops are trained in physically tracking people, they are not allowed to tail anyone out of their jurisdiction. A cop cannot follow you, pull you over, or arrest you if it is not within his jurisdiction. However, there are few exceptions to this law.

Mutual Agreement with the Cops Outside Their Jurisdiction

A cop will follow you out of his jurisdiction if he calls for a backup in the next jurisdiction. A prior mutual agreement between the police agencies allows the cop to follow you and arrest you outside their jurisdiction. However, this can only be the case if you have committed a crime. The cop will let you go if you enter another jurisdiction if you haven’t committed any crime.

The Pursuit Began From His Jurisdiction

An officer could follow you out of his jurisdiction if the pursuit started from his jurisdiction. However, the cop won’t waste his time doing so if you haven’t committed a serious crime. In situations like this, you should avoid incriminating yourself. Instead, you should have an open conversation with the cops to prevent complications.

How Many Turns Can a Cop Follow You?

As long as you are within their jurisdiction, a cop can keep following you for as long as they need to. The cops can also follow you to any extent if the situation demands it. If you are on a public road, the cops will follow you for as long as they want, which is not considered illegal.

The law does not indicate how long a cop can follow you, except the jurisdiction law that forbids a cop from enforcing the law in another jurisdiction.

Pull over at the closest gas station to see if the cop will follow you. Wait a while for the cop to approach you to see if he has been following you or if it was just a mere coincidence. You can choose to approach the cop in a civil manner.

What to Do If You Are Being Followed By a Cop?

Being followed by a cop is not considered an infringement on your right as long as you are not restrained. Maintain calm, drive normally, and obey the rules when you notice a cop following you.

Be careful not to let fear get the best of you if you notice a cop following you. Ensure that you normally drive within the right speed limit to avoid causing more suspicions.

Follow the directions of the officers. Pull over immediately if you hear the blaring of their siren or their emergency flashing lights. Use your turn signal and demonstrate to the cops that you are not a threat.

Avoid becoming hostile and try to converse with the police. Do not incriminate yourself, and you shouldn’t bring out your license unless the officer asks for it.


While you are concerned about your rights, you now know that it is not illegal for the cops to follow you home. Most of the time, it doesn’t mean that you have done anything wrong. Since you are probably unaware if you have erred or not, the best thing to do is to cooperate and let the cops do their job.

Evaluate the situation and stay calm when a police officer is following you home. You might just be being overly cautious, and the police car may simply be traveling in the same direction as you.