What Happens to the Car After a DUI Arrest in Georgia?

What Happens to the Car After a DUI Arrest in Georgia?

If you’re arrested for DUI, what happens to your car — and how do you get it back? While issues relating to the criminal aspects of the arrest are at the forefront, you do need to make sure your car is safe. Depending on the situation, there are several possibilities for what may occur.

After a DUI Arrest

After you’re arrested for DUI, the law enforcement officer determines what happens to your vehicle. If there is a sober, licensed driver with you as a passenger, the officer may permit that person to drive your vehicle from the scene of the arrest. Another option is for the police to allow you to call another person and ask them to pick up your car at the scene. But those alternatives are not guaranteed.

After a DUI arrest, Georgia law authorizes the police to seize your keys and order your vehicle to be towed to an impound lot. Before the vehicle is towed, an inventory search will be conducted. A search warrant is usually not required, because the search is incident to an arrest.

In conducting an inventory search, law enforcement may find evidence of other illegal conduct, such as:

If other evidence is discovered, you may face charges in addition to the DUI. If you are present during the search, you should exercise your right to remain silent and to get legal counsel immediately. Obviously, discovery of other evidence complicates your case considerably. The criminal defense attorney you retain for the DUI charge will advise you on the other charges as well.

Recovery of Impounded Vehicle

If your vehicle was impounded after a DUI arrest, the impounding is a civil administrative process, not a criminal process. Before you are released from custody, you receive information about how to recover your vehicle.

If your license was suspended because of the DUI charge, you will not be able to drive your car from the impound lot, so you need to take another driver with you when you go to the lot. Be sure that person takes their driver’s license with them.

You will need to pay the towing and impound fees to get your car back. You should also take your vehicle title, registration, driver’s license, and insurance information with you to the impound lot.

Why You Need a DUI Lawyer

After any DUI arrest, it is essential to retain an experienced DUI attorney to represent you. That is true regardless of the circumstances of the arrest. Your lawyer helps you understand the criminal process, protects your rights, challenges evidence when possible (including any evidence obtained in a vehicle search of any type), and helps you navigate all the consequences of the arrest. If your car was impounded, your attorney can also help you recover your vehicle if necessary.

A DUI conviction or guilty plea has serious consequences beyond the criminal and administrative (driver’s license) penalties. You should do everything you can to aggressively defend against a Georgia DUI charge — and that means retaining a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer.

Talk with an Experienced Georgia DUI Defense Lawyer

Our criminal and DUI defense lawyers at The McCoy Law Firm, LLC have decades of experience representing defendants facing DUI charges in northwest Georgia. If you need representation on a DUI charge, please contact Criminal & DUI Law of Georgia, so we can begin working on your case right away.

Categories: DUI