Did you know that driving under the influence of drugs and/alcohol is prohibited not only by state laws but by federal statutes as well? What determines whether such conduct is a state or federal crime is where it occurred. The potential conviction penalties can be just as harsh, if not harsher, when the matter is handled in federal court. If you've been accused of drinking and driving on federal land, it's imperative to get an attorney on your side as soon as possible. Going up against federal prosecutors can be intimidating, and having legal representation throughout the process can help as you fight for a favorable resolution.
If you need aggressive yet compassionate legal counsel for your case, turn to Tillotson & Martin. Our Coastal Virginia federal DUI lawyers have over 40 years of combined experience. We know the courts and criminal justice process, and we can skillfully guide you. Throughout our years of practice, we have handled drinking and driving matters of varying complexities, and we're not afraid to go up against challenging opponents. When we take on a case, we do so strategically. We leverage our knowledge of DWI law and the science concerning drug- and alcohol-related driving offenses to seek favorable results for our clients.
For a free consultation to discuss your case, contact us at (757) 568-7978 today.
When Does a DUI Become a Federal Crime?
In the U.S., both states and the federal government establish laws concerning prohibited behaviors, including driving while intoxicated. State laws apply to offenses that occur within their borders.
Federal laws apply to crimes occurring on U.S. government property, such as:
- Federal buildings and parking lots
- National monuments
- National parks and forests
- Military bases
- Federal parkways in Virginia like the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Colonial Parkway
Although a vast majority of DUI matters fall within state jurisdiction, some are prosecuted under federal law.
What Is the Federal Law Concerning DUIs?
The federal law that will apply to your alleged drinking and driving offense depends on where the crime was allegedly committed.
If you were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol while driving at a state park, you might be prosecuted under 36 CFR § 4.23. Similar to Virginia's DUI law, this statute provides that it's illegal for a person to operate or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while abilities are impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.
If your DUI occurred on other federal property, you could be prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 13. This law provides that the state's DUI laws will be adopted for specific crimes committed on federal grounds. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) may also apply if the offense was committed on a military base.
It's also important to note that implied consent laws also apply to federal DUI matters. Meaning that if you're arrested on suspicion of drunk or drugged driving, you are required to submit to a blood or alcohol test to determine the amount of drugs or alcohol in your system. You can refuse, but doing so may bring additional consequences.
What Are the Penalties for a Federal DUI?
If you're convicted of driving under the influence on federal land, the penalties you could face depend on the specifics of your circumstances. For instance, cases tried under 18 U.S.C. § 13 would apply the punishments provided under state laws. Other penalties may also be imposed, such as an additional term of imprisonment, if certain outcomes resulted from the drunk or drugged driving offense.
Speak with Tillotson & Martin About Your Case
Our Coastal Virginia federal DUI lawyers are here to help fight your charge. We'll review every detail of your situation to develop a unique defense strategy on your behalf.
We Wrote the Book.We were tasked with writing the book on Virginia DUI Law by Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the leading authority in legal publishing. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges often turn to this resource.
We Possess the Knowledge.Not only are our attorneys committed to attending continued education courses, they lecture and teach courses themselves. In a field as scientific and technical as DUI Defense, keeping our knowledge up to date is crucial to crafting our clients' defense strategies.
We Truly Care.Mike Tillotson & Jeff Martin go the extra mile for their clients. Our team realizes that this is your future at stake and we will employ every strategy to ensure that we are providing you with the best representation possible.
We Have the Fight to Win.With nearly 40 years of combined experience, Mike Tillotson and Jeff Martin have successfully handled thousands of DUI cases, and has tried cases across the entire state of Virginia.
Call (757) 568-7978 or Fill Out a Form for a Free Case Evaluation