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Legal to film police officers in the state of Arizona?

Tucson, AZ |

Am I legally authorized to film police officers or government officials with a video or cellular camera without their consent, but in pain view (ex: officers are able to see they are being filmed). Is it legal for me to do this even if there is no arrests or confrontation?

Attorney Answers 2


Generally, taking video pictures of things that are plainly visible in public is a constitutional right under the First Amendment. Some states have attempted to criminalize the taking of audio recordings without consent of all the parties, but Arizona is not among them. While you have some rights to record government officials in public places, the law does not extend to justify trespassing or interfering with government business.

This response is for general informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing specific legal advice. The provision of this response does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice for your particular issue or problem.

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There are a lot of variables here, but be aware that there have been cases of people charged with Illegal Wiretapping for filming police officers during stops or arrests. Proceed with caution.

Kristen DeWitt-Lopez of DeWitt-Lopez Law, P.C. may be reached at 602.263.3900 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at More information about Ms. DeWitt-Lopez can be found on her website at All of Ms. DeWitt-Lopez’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Kristen DeWitt-Lopez is licensed to practice in the State of Arizona. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.

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