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DUI » DUI Defense » Federal DUI

Tampa Federal DUI Lawyer

When a person drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol on federal property, he / she will be charged with a federal DUI. A federal crime is considered any criminal act that takes place on federal property, or property that is under federal jurisdiction. The two most common places where federal DUIs occur are national parks and military bases. They can also occur at airports, post offices, government compounds and parking lots, courthouse driveways, or national monuments, etc. A person can be charged with federal charges if the following are true:

  • The person was impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time he/she was operating a motor vehicle
  • The person was driving with a BAC above the legal limit
  • The person was driving with a BAC of either 0.10 grams of alcohol or more per 100 milliliters of blood, or 0.10 grams of alcohol or more per 21 liters of breath

The location where the DUI took place will determine how the driver will be prosecuted. If the DUI took place on land administered by the National Park Service, the driver will be tried under the Code of Federal Regulation. If the DUI occurred on any other federal property, the driver will be tried under the DUI laws and penalties of that particular state through the Assimilative Crimes Act.

What is the Assimilative Crimes Act?

The Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U.S.C §13) is an area of federal law geared entirely towards handling criminal charges that occur on federal land or in federally owned buildings. Under this act, the federal government is able to prosecute offenses that occur utilizing the state laws of the state in which the crime occurred. The crime will be tried and prosecuted through the U.S. Attorney's office and will be utilizing the state law – however, it will not be enforcing it. Instead, they will be using state law to help directly enforce federal law.

This is only for circumstances where there is no federal law directly governing the action. For example, there is no federal law that is directly enforcing drunk driving. Therefore, if you were to be accused of driving under the influence on federally owned land in Florida, the federal government would prosecute you while using Florida laws for the subject matter and applying the proper definitions, elements of proof, etc.

About the Federal DUI Process

The federal DUI process is almost identical to the regular DUI process. When an individual is pulled over for drunk or drugged driving on federal property, he / she is required to take a breath, blood, or urine test. Failure to do so will result in a misdemeanor charge, and may carry additional monetary fines, prison sentences, and denial of driving privileges on federal land. Furthermore, he / she will be subject to such legal penalties as steep fines, probation, and time in a federal penitentiary. Factors such as refusing a breath, blood, or urine test, the presence of minors in the car, or reckless driving, can also result in additional penalties.

To receive high-quality assistance, contact a Tampa federal DUI lawyer from our firm today.

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