When Can a Police Officer Pull You Over in Maryland?

When driving in Maryland, you may worry about being pulled over and wonder when a traffic stop is legal. According to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion before pulling you over. When they do, they cannot prolong the stop or look for other violations. Our knowledgeable lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub understands these laws and can help you seek justice if your rights are violated.

With over 30 years of experience handling Maryland’s most complex traffic violation cases, you can rely on our comprehensive services and guidance every step of the way. We communicate honestly, giving you a better understanding of your rights and the decisions you must make for your future. Our trusted lawyer takes the time to listen to your story and understand your needs to create a personalized strategy that helps hold the officer accountable and reduce or drop your charges.

When Is a Traffic Stop Legal in Maryland?

In Maryland, a cop cannot pull you over to look for a crime or investigate your vehicle. They must have a valid reason, such as violating traffic laws in the following ways:

  • Speeding
  • Driving recklessly
  • Headlight or taillight out
  • Expired registration tags
  • Obstructed vision

These pretextual stops may be for minor traffic violations, but officers can use them to investigate a more serious crime, like a DUI or drug possession. If you get pulled over, you have the right to record law enforcement, creating a clear record of any wrongdoing and protecting your rights.

What Can a Police Officer Do When They Pull You Over?

In addition to having a valid reason to pull you over, law enforcement is only allowed to do certain actions during a traffic stop. These actions include the following:

  • Ask for your driver’s license, insurance information, and vehicle registration
  • Ask you and other passengers to step out of your vehicle
  • Look in and around your vehicle if they are reasonably suspicious that there is evidence of a crime
  • Inspect your trunk and glove compartment if they have probable cause
  • Pat you down to ensure you have no weapons

The police officer who pulls you over may also ask questions about your driving and other details. While you don’t have to answer questions you don’t want to, it’s essential to remain calm and polite, as the officer will likely tell the judge about your behavior during the traffic stop if your case goes to court. If you believe the cop who pulled you over did not have a valid reason or violated your rights during the traffic stop, our experienced lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub is here to help.

Schedule a Free Consultation With the Seasoned Maryland Lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub

Getting pulled over by a police officer can be an overwhelming experience, but understanding your rights and when police can legally stop you is crucial. If law enforcement pulls you over illegally in Maryland, get in touch with The Law Office of Hillel Traub as soon as possible. We thoroughly investigate your situation, consider every detail, and work hard to build a strong claim that gives you the best results.

As a former MVA lawyer, Attorney Hillel Traub understands what it takes to fight for your rights. We have the expertise of a large firm with the relationships of a small one, giving us a proven track record of success for our clients. Our effective and trusted legal representation allows you to rest assured your case is in the right hands. Give us a call at (410) 580-1100 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.