Can an off-duty cop follow my car, causing me to speed and then call on-duty officers to pull me over?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an off-duty cop follow my car, causing me to speed and then call on-duty officers to pull me over?

I was driving home from work and a civilian car was following me. I slowed down, I sped up, I couldn’t get away. I’m a paranoid schizophrenic, it was 10:30 pm and I was scared, so I sped as fast as I could to get away. The car remains on my tail the entire time. I am then pulled over and told the car following me was an off-duty cop and after I had broke the speed limit he had called the on-duty officers to pull me over. I was given a ticket. I have court for this speeding ticket in 2 weeks. What can I do?

Asked on April 26, 2017 under General Practice, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you sped because another car was behind you but was not doing anything more threatening than driving behind you, you are legally liable for speeding: without some overt threat, your suspicions are not enough to justify speeding. That said, prosecutors and judges do have discretion to dismiss cases in the interest of justice. The advice you received is good advice: tell you story to the prosecutor when you first meet with him at court on the trial date--there is a reasonable chance he will agree to dismiss, or least let you pled to a lower speed/lesser offense.

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