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What Happens to a Car after a Virginia DUI

It is important to know what happens to a car after a Virginia DUI. If you are facing charges, a skilled DUI lawyer can explain and help build your defense prior.

In every case where someone is arrested for a DUI, the car is going to be searched and it is going to be impounded in an impoundment lot until such time that the defendant is able to retrieve it.

If you have been charged with and arrested for a DUI, then contact a skilled Virginia DUI lawyer. An experienced attorney will be well equipped to advise you as you navigate the legal process.

Necessary Documentation

When retrieving a car at a tow lot, a person is going to need to make sure that they bring an ID of some kind with them. That can be difficult under some circumstances because, in the course of the DUI, the person may have had their driver’s license seized.

It will be important to bring other identifying information if the person has it, such as a social security card, a passport, or something else that will allow the tow lot personnel to release the vehicle to the person and identify them as being the owner.

Vehicle Search Prior to Towing

What happens to a car after a Virginia DUI is clear. However, it is important to consider what happens to it before the arrest as well.

The vehicle, if it is towed subsequent to a DUI arrest, will always be searched prior to towing. Police are entitled to search the area immediately about the defendant pursuant to any lawful arrest.

In addition to that, police will also conduct what is called an inventory search, where they make a record and a list of all of the property or other items that are found inside of the vehicle after the arrest.

The reason for this is to prevent potential issues of lost property in the future. Secondly, it allows the police to search the vehicle for other contraband. Anything that is discovered during that search that is illegal may result in additional charges being made against the accused.

Illegal Substances

If illegal substances are found during the course of the search, it is possible that the defendant will also be charged with their possession. That could be anything from illegal drugs to other contraband or even stolen property.

However, just because something is found in the vehicle does not necessarily mean that the person is going to be found guilty of its possession. A person is not necessarily charged with knowledge of everything that is in their vehicle.

That being said, if the item is somewhere in plain view and within the reach of the defendant, then the odds increase significantly that they will be charged and that they are at risk of being convicted.

Role of an Attorney in Retrieving Vehicle

Ultimately, what happens to a car after a Virginia DUI is that it is most likely towed and sent to an impound lot. An attorney can assist someone whose car has been impounded by directing them to the proper place to retrieve it, as well as advising them on how to deal with the process. In most cases, a Virginia defendant charged with DUI can carry out the retrieval on their own. They will simply be able to go to the impoundment lot. Often, they will be required to pay a fee in order for the lot to release the car.

In general, Virginia lawyers can help their clients to understand the process of retrieving their vehicle and to help them to understand what they are going to need to bring with them to the tow lot and how to overcome any difficulties that they may run into. In general, it is a fairly smooth process and once it is completed, the more complex work of building a case against the charges begins.