Car Searches by Police in Virginia
Police are allowed to search you and your car if...
You give permission to have your car searched.If you are stopped for a simple traffic infraction in Virginia the police must present you a citation and let you go. A reasonable delay is allowed but after checking you license, registration and insurance, you are allowed to drive away without a search. However, if you are asked permission to search at anytime then the police can search your car. Do not give permission.
Reasonable Suspicion of illegial items in the car.If the officer smell marijuana, or sees drug paraphernalia or other illegal drugs then they are allowed to do a search of the whole vehicle. They can call in drug dogs and assisting officers.
If you arrested.If you are arrested and the car is impounded the police are allowed to do an inventory "search". The police prepare a list of personal items to be kept safe and returned to you. However, if illegal items are found you can be get more charges.