What Happens to a Person’s Car After a Virginia DUI 

It can be difficult to know what to expect following a Virginia DUI. What happens to a person’s car after a Virginia DUI depends on the officer and the conditions of which a person is placed under arrest. The process of being arrested for a Virginia DUI can be quite stressful, especially if you do not know what is supposed to happen afterwards. If you have been charged with a DUI, consult a skilled DUI attorney who can answer any questions you may have. Get in touch with a lawyer today and know that you are in capable hands.

What to Bring to the Tow Lot

Often what happens to a person’s car after a Virginia DUI, is that the car gets towed. Most of the time, if someone’s car is on a public street and no one else is there to drive it home it will get towed. There are certain circumstances where an officer might be willing to move that person’s car to a nearby parking lot if it is considered safe and publicly accessible. However, as a general rule, a person should expect that their car will be towed.

When considering what to bring to a tow lot when retrieving their car, an individual should remember that every tow lot is different. The person should call the tow lot first, to make sure that they have all of the right documentation. Often, people are supposed to bring their IDs, as well as the amount of money needed to bring their car out. An individual should find out whether they take credit cards or if they have to bring cash. Some will only take cash. Calling the tow lot and finding out the exact requirements is the best way to avoid wasting that trip.

When a person shows up, they have to talk to whomever there and tell them that their car is there. The tow lot employee will look up the individual’s car and should be able to match the registered owner with the database that they have access to by running a license plate of the vehicle. As long as that person is the registered owner or accompanying the registered owner, the person can get their car.

Car Searches

Under the Fourth Amendment, police have the right to search a vehicle after they place somebody under arrest who was driving that vehicle. Whether or not they are going to search it depends on the officer and if they think there is a likelihood that it will be worth their time. Usually, they will at least look around to see if there are any open containers or any other evidence of drinking. Sometimes they will look for receipts from bars or restaurants that that person might have been to. Any alcohol in the car will be seized as evidence or at least taken note of.

What If Drugs Are Found in the Car?

If someone is charged with a straight alcohol-based DUI and they do not test that person for drugs and they find drugs in the car, it will complicate a person’s case somewhat. It will potentially add another charge to the charge of the DUI. In some cases, if it is a Schedule one or two controlled substance, the DUI will be the second most problematic thing that they are charged with because those are felony charges if the person is charged with possessing Schedule one or two substance. It may complicate things. It may also add to the government’s desire to have a blood test taken to determine whether or not there are drugs in a person’s system in addition to any alcohol. Under those circumstances, it might change how a person’s case is investigated and ultimately prosecuted.

Impounded Vehicles

The police will tell someone where their car is located and they will be able to get it out themselves. Cars do not get seized in Virginia, so a person does not have to worry about them seizing it for the purposes of taking it away from that person or not being able to get it for a period of time. That exists in other states. In Virginia, they tow somebody’s car to get it out of the way. Either that person or somebody else can get the car from the tow lot and they will tell them where that is.

The vast majority of DUI cases do not result in an impoundment of their vehicle. If they are impounded, there is a process that the person is going to go through to try to get the government to release the vehicle. That is filing motions in court and arguing against whatever it is the government is saying. For 95 percent of DUI cases, the car is not impounded. It is towed away to get it out of the road and that person will be able to get it back the next day.

Role of a DUI Attorney

Generally, the role that a DUI attorney plays in helping someone retrieve their car following a DUI is minimal. You do not need a lawyer to get your car out of jail.  However, once you have retrieved the car on you own, an attorney can be vital in building your Virginia DUI case. Not only can a lawyer explain what happens to a person’s car after a Virginia DUI, they can also defend and advocate for you.