After an individual is arrested for a DUI they will not be allowed to leave their car on the side of the road. Instead, if they have a sober friend who is with them, an officer may allow them to drive the car away or they may allow the individual to call a friend or family member to come drive the car away. With that said, the officer is in control of the situation, so in situations where the client is belligerent or malicious to the officer, generally the officer may become unhelpful and just simply not give them the option to call someone.
In situations where the person cannot find someone to drive their car, or the officer does not allow them to, the officer will contact a wrecking service and their car will be towed to an impound lot. When the individual is released from jail, part of their paperwork from the jail will be about how to get their car back, including how to contact the tow lot and pay the towing and impound fees for their vehicle. An Atlanta DUI lawyer can help with this process, and start building a defense for the DUI case as well.
The individual should bring a copy of their title and vehicle registration at a minimum. Hopefully they can bring an original of their title if possible, but sometimes that is with the bank or lienholder of their vehicle. If they are leasing it is with the leasing company. Regardless, the individual should bring their driver’s license, copy of the title, insurance, any information that identifies the vehicle as theirs and them as the person who owns or leases it.
An individual can expect their car to be searched at the time of arrest by the officer or officers on the scene. The search incident to arrest is common and they will check the car for contraband or anything that might be used against the individual, like an empty beer can or liquor bottle. Once this search is complete and the tow truck arrives, their car most likely will not be investigated again once it arrives at the tow lot.
At the tow lot the car should be placed by itself safely, and the individual will find it most likely in the same condition as they left it when they were arrested and their car was towed.
If an officer finds a bag of illegal substances in the person’s vehicle, it is imperative that the individual not say anything, or admit to it being theirs. Instead, the most beneficial thing that someone can do if an officer finds drugs in their car is to utilize their right to remain silent.
It is a bad idea for an individual to try to talk their way out of what has already been a bad situation and has now become far more complicated, by attempting to say that the drugs are not theirs. They should not think that if they just admit to them, that the drug charge will not stick. Silence is the key in any drug case and a criminal defense lawyer will find a way to beat the charge if at all possible, at a later date and time.
The discovery of drugs in a vehicle complicates things a bit in a DUI case. The prosecution for the DUI charge will use the drugs to show a jury that it is more likely that the individual was impaired because there were drugs in the car.
For the drug charge itself, the attorney will fight a battle to enforce their client’s constitutional rights prior to trial and attempt to keep those drugs out of evidence. If an attorney is successful in keeping the drugs out of evidence so that the jury never hears that drugs were found in the car, those drug charges in all likelihood are not going to stick and will not become part of the case going forward.
An experienced DUI lawyer in Atlanta will know how to obtain the person’s property and coordinate the retrieval of their vehicle. They can guide the individual through the hectic early days following their DUI arrest, and ensure that their rights are protected, and their privilege to drive is preserved, until the attorney can challenge any potential lies and suspicions they may be facing separately from the criminal case.
The attorney can also appear with the individual at the initial appearance in their case, guide them, and search for a defense in those early days after their car has been impounded.