Being charged with a DUI, no matter the circumstance is a challenging experience that can alter your life. Being accused of a federal DUI is a particularly serious matter. Federal DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol with a BAC over .08, or under the influence of a controlled substance, on federally-owned property. Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or other chemical test on federal property may also lead to a federal DUI charge.
Federal crimes are serious matters that should be handled by a competent attorney as quickly as possible. Generally, penalties for federal crimes are harsher than those for state offenses. The moment you learn of a federal charges being filed against you, be sure to reach out to an Orlando federal DUI lawyer with expertise in this area.
Property that’s federally-owned includes the following:
In Orlando, you can be charged with a federal DUI at the Naval Air Warfare Center Navy Base or the Orlando International Airport. Most times, when this happens, the individual must appear before a U. S. District Court asserting a violation of Florida’s DUI laws under the Assimilative Crimes Act (ACA). The ACA adopts federal law and applies it to federally owned property, like the ones listed above.
The intent of the Assimilative Crimes Act (ACA) is to utilize state law to make up for the gaps in federal criminal law that apply to federally owned property. In the areas of federal law that Congress does not define, under ACA state law can be used instead to cover those gaps. However, ACA does not adapt to state procedural or evidentiary law.
The case of United States v. Pego states the following:
“Under the Act, if there is no federal criminal law on point, and if a defendant’s conduct would have been a state-law crime but for the fact that it was committed on federal territory, it ‘becomes a federal offense…’”
In short, state law is used instead of federal law whenever there’s missing information on how to litigate a crime.
Federal law enforcement officers who handle impaired driving incidents on the federally owned property will read suspects the Federal Implied Consent Law taken from United States Code under Section 3118 of Title 18. This law informs drivers that if they refuse a breathalyzer or any testing for a DUI, this will lead to the suspension of their driving privileges on federal property. However, because federal criminal law doesn’t have a criminal DUI refusal-to-test statute and only an administrative law, the ACA may be used to fill that gap with state law.
Most times, if an individual is charged with a federal DUI, it’s considered a class B misdemeanor. However, this charge can sometimes be increased, depending on the circumstances. Examples of those particular circumstances include the following:
A class B misdemeanor holds substantial outcomes. If those charges are increased, the consequences also increase. Examples of class B misdemeanor penalties include $5,000 in fines, six months in federal prison, and/or five years of probation.
Never try to defend yourself in court against these charges without expert legal defense on your side. The implications of a Federal DUI can haunt you for years.
If you were arrested and charged with a federal DUI, it’s imperative that you contact a professional attorney with experience fighting federal DUI charges as soon as possible. Failing to seek out legal criminal defense can result in blemishes on your record, hefty fines, and possible imprisonment.
At The Umansky Law Firm, our team of attorneys has extensive experience defending people with DUI charges. Attorney Brice Aikens is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer who is qualified to work on federal cases. Call our experienced legal team today or fill out a form online to schedule your free case evaluation.
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