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What Are My Property Rights in a Virginia DUI?

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The purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to protect every citizen's rights. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to freedom from intrusion. This freedom from intrusion is specifically protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Under the Fourth Amendment, police cannot search places to which you have a "legitimate expectation of privacy." This pertains to your self, your belongings, your clothes, your home, your business, and even your vehicle.

Therefore, if you are stopped under the suspicion of a Virginia DUI, the police may not legally search your vehicle without having probable cause. They may only search your vehicle if they have probable cause, or if you give them your consent. Some reasons for probable cause include: 

  • Reckless driving;
  • Severely intoxicated behavior;
  • Evidence that is in plain view; and 
  • Information or tips from a witness. 


Without probable cause or your consent, any search and seizure of your personal property is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And any evidence that was illegally obtained will be inadmissible in your case. This includes any confessions or testimony that was given after your arrest. To find out more about your property rights in your Virginia DUI case, you should contact a professional Virginia DUI attorney.

If you have recently been charged with a Virginia DUI, learn more about your rights concerning the search and seizure of your property during a Virginia DUI by visiting our article library. 

Virginia DUI Lawyer Bob Battle has the experience and ability to help his clients mount a successful DUI defense. To learn more about Virginia DUI, get a free copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia. Or, contact 804-673-5600 to schedule your legal consultation today.

Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts
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