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Vehicle Searches Related to DUI/OVI

There are times when cops may search the vehicle of a person suspected of impaired driving. However, they can’t just search it because they want to. An experienced Youngstown OVI Lawyer like Sean Logue will be quick to remind you that the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and the seizure of your car. Though the protections for your car are not as strong as for your home, you do have the right to expect privacy in your vehicle. This means that cops can’t search your vehicle without a warrant, or without some exception to the rule or other.

Probably the most common exception is when police search a vehicle after they have arrested the driver because they think they might find evidence of a crime in the car.

The next exception is a search that is related to the arrest of the driver. For example, if the cop sees a sealed bottle of whiskey on the floor in the backseat, he can arrest the driver on suspicion of DUI and search his car.

Another exception to the warrant rule is in cases where the cops believe a search of your vehicle is required for their protection or safety. A good example of this is if they believe you have a gun in your car.

Finally, if you tell the police they are allowed to search your car, they can – and probably will – do it. This is never a good idea; if they ask, refuse to allow it. They probably have no reason to search it if they have to ask, and it’s always better to exercise your Constitutional right to privacy.

If you are arrested for DUI, your car will be towed to an impound yard. The police may search the vehicle in this case to take an inventory of what’s in it.

Always remember that you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your car, truck, or SUV. Laws require police officers and state troopers to obtain warrants to search vehicles for a reason, and you are well within your rights to refuse warrantless searches. There are no legal ramifications for telling cops they can’t search your car without a warrant.

Also keep in mind that officers are legally only allowed to detain you as long as it takes to investigate the situation and write you a traffic ticket.

There is a possibility in certain situations that police officers will want to bring a drug sniffing dog to walk around your car. This is not legally a search and is permissible, but if you have to wait for the dog to show up, it becomes an illegal situation, because you were detained too long. In this circumstance, the judge should exclude any evidence found as a result of the delay.

If your car has been searched following a DUI arrest, or if you gave police permission to search because they asked, it will benefit you to contact a seasoned attorney like those found at Logue Law Group. Sean Logue and his associates have decades of combined experience in DUI defense. They have trained extensively and used that training to defend hundreds of clients. Often, they have been able to get DUI charges reduced or dismissed in their clients’ cases.

Remember that, if the police do search your vehicle without a warrant, it is possibly an illegal search. They must have a solid legal basis. They must also have a good warrant. A defective warrant makes the search just as illegal as no warrant at all. An attorney who understands DUI defense will be able to point this out to the court, and the judge will have to make any evidence gathered during the search inadmissible. For this to happen, your attorney has to first file a motion. Then, at a hearing called an “evidentiary hearing,” he will present an argument to the court.

Logue Law Group offers free initial consultations and 24/7 access to the best criminal defense attorneys in the Tri-State area. Call now at 330-531-8505.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mr. Logue came to me for my consultation, which was nice! He helped me better understand my situation so I could weigh my options. He kept me updated on any new information about my case, and I could always easily contact him if I had any questions. I knew I was in good hands, and I got the best possible outcome for my case! Anonymous
★★★★★
Sean Logue accomplished an incredible thing for me by handling my legal matters. If you need help, this is the man to represent you...he's very keen, knowledgeable, and efficient in guiding you to freedom. The trust and loyalty he gives you is very down to earth, so if you need a lawyer this is the best one. You can feel totally confident in Sean's hands. Excellent job, thank you for taking the time for me, you took all my worries away...God bless your future. Anonymous
★★★★★
Mr. Logue was the one I hired after talking to other attorneys about my case. He was the most knowledgeable and explained everything to me about his plan for me moving forward. He was always available to answer my questions and fought hard for me!! Don't waste your time looking for anyone else to help you. Mr Logue did an amazing job and very professional! Anonymous
★★★★★
Atty. Logue represented me well and took care of my legal issues superbly. He is a no-nonsense, very knowledgeable and well respected lawyer. I was pleased with his services. Would definitely recommend Atty. Logue to others. Anonymous
★★★★★
Mr. Logue is good for one reason, he cares. A client is not a quick buck. He always answers his phone, day or night and he understands the law better than anyone. He always answers my calls for both corporate and personal legal decisions and I have a ton of questions. His rates are reasonable too. Fair and firm. Anonymous