When it comes to a DUI, there are different charges based on the circumstances of your charge. While many DUIs are subject to state law, there are also DUIs that fall under federal law. Federal and state DUI cases are handled differently, and you should know about the difference if you find yourself in this situation. The following are some things you should know about when it comes to federal and state DUI charges:
What Is Considered a Federal DUI?
A federal DUI charge occurs when the arrest takes place on federal property. This includes national parks, national land, courthouses, military bases, airports, parking lots owned by the federal government, and the like. You can be arrested on federal charges if you are driving on any of these areas with an illegal blood alcohol level.
How Are Federal DUI Charges Different?
One of the differnetiating aspects of a federal DUI charge is where you are charged. Your case will go to the federal court system for your judicial proceeding. The actual process is similar to those charges heard in state court, but there is no jury. A federal judge will hear your case, listen to the arguments, view the evidence, and make a decision on your case.
What About Penalties?
Federal DUIs are misdemeanors but can be increased in certain situations. Increases in your charge can occur if you were acting egregiously, such as driving with a significantly higher blood alcohol count. You can also face harsher penalties if you have a child in the car while driving while under the influence, if you have already had DUI convictions, or if you were driving in a reckless manner.
You can face fines, probation, required education on driving safely, or even jail time. If you are in the military and you get a federal DUI charge, you can also face additional penalties, including a letter of reprimand, demotion in rank, jail time, or a dishonorable discharge.
Should You Hire a DUI Attorney?
If you are charged with a federal DUI, you need to retain an attorney who specifically defends DUI cases. A DUI attorney is well versed in this area of the law and can help you get through the complex court process. If you are in the military, you definitely need an attorney, particularly one who works with service members, to preserve your status in your branch. Be sure to work with a DUI attorney today.