What are the consequences of a DUI charge on federal property or in federal jurisdiction?
Being charged of driving under the influence is a very serious charge, however, if you’re charged with a DUI on federal grounds, this becomes even more serious. Federal grounds such a military bases, government buildings, airports, federal parks and other other location that falls under the purview of federal jurisdiction are all places that escalate a standard DUI charge into a Federal DUI charge. Not only does a Federal DUI charge need to be defended much more vigorously than a state DUI charges, but the consequences and penalties could be significantly worse.
Why you want to avoid Federal Court
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Being tried a federal court is a very serious matter and not someplace you want to be. Sometimes, a federal court might decide to use state DUI laws, and subsequently state penalties, however this isn’t always the case. When you’re being tried in a Federal court, you have the chance of having your criminal charges bumped up to a felony. Being convicted of felony DUI charges can jeopardize your entire life, including your career and education. While it’s still possible to find employment with a felony DUI charge, your choices will be severely limited due to the stigma that comes with a felony charge.
With a felony charge also comes higher fines, longer sentence durations for jail and license suspension, and even having your driving privileges revoked entirely. Because of the severity of the consequences when being tried in a federal court, you must have an experienced DUI defense attorney to represent you.
What to Do?
Whether you’ve been charged for a DUI on federal lands or not, the first step you need to take is to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney. When you’re looking for an attorney, here are some things you need to keep in mind.
Knowledge of State and Federal DUI Laws– If you’re being tried in a federal courtroom than it is paramount that your attorney understand federal DUI rulings as well as your state’s DUI laws. This not only has an impact on the way your case will be presented but what defenses are available to you.
Understanding of the Science Behind BAC Testing– Breathalyzers and other blood tests aren’t infallible. There are a number of potential defenses that can be available to you to protect yourself from a failed blood alcohol test. However, these defenses can only be recognized and presented by an attorney with the knowledge and training to do so.
An Attorney who Works With You– Not every case is the same, and as such each approach needs to be handled different. You need an attorney who will take the time to handle your case on a personal and individual level. Often times, a key component to your case can be overlooked by an experienced attorney who generalized their approach to your case.
It’s important that you understand, all DUI charges are serious, and a Federal DUI charge can be dire. Being convicted of a DUI, especially a federal DUI, will have consequences that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Don’t take the chance, hire an attorney immediately.
+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.
May 21, 2016