Federal DUI

When a DUI takes place on federally owned property, the suspect can face charges for a federal DUI. For example, when drivers drive while under the influence in a federal national forest, Camp Lejeune, or Fort Bragg, they can face federal DUI charges. Areas that are policed or maintained by federal authorities also have federal jurisdiction. Federal prosecutors can charge a defendant in federal court using state law. If you are facing a federal DUI charge in North Carolina, our firm can help. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.

Facing a DWI Charge in North Carolina Federal Court

The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have extensive experience representing clients in federal court for DWI charges. If you are an active-duty military service member, the impact of a DUI charge could result in a demotion or discharge from the military altogether. The legal procedures in federal court are significantly different than those in a North Carolina court. When faced with a federal DUI charge, it is crucial to have an attorney with the knowledge and experience of handling federal cases.

Facing a DUI Charge That Happened on a North Carolina Military Base

The penalties for a DUI while in the military are usually more serious than when a civilian faces a DUI charge. Civilian cases often take more time to prosecute than military prosecutions. Serious DUI offenses can result in a court-martial. Most DUI cases are prosecuted under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMI). In some cases, DUI charges result in military separation due to misconduct.

When a DUI takes place on federal property, such as on a military base, federal DUI law governs. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) criminalizes driving while under the influence on federal property. Some DUI cases require federal prosecution. Sometimes, defendants face DUI charges at both a state and federal level. In some cases, military and civilian courts work together to prosecute a defendant. Keep in mind, however, that federal and state courts are completely separate. Thus, the constitutional protection prohibiting double jeopardy does not apply in a DUI case.

Under the UCMJ, a service member can face DUI charges, even if their car is parked. Military prosecutors need only to prove that the defendant had control of the vehicle when they were under the influence of alcohol. A defendant can face charges for sitting in his or her car with a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) that was over the legal limit.

Consequences for a DUI on a Military Base in North Carolina

A single DUI charge has the potential to ruin a promising military career. When a service member faces a DUI charge on a military base, he or she might receive the following penalties:

  • Revocation of pass privilege
  • Reduction in grade
  • Corrective retraining
  • Reprimand on an administrative level
  • A ban on re-enlisting
  • Mandatory substance abuse training
  • A court-martial

In some instances, federal DUI cases require a trial in North Carolina courts, as well. Depending on the case, the defendant might face the following consequences:

  • Repossession of your vehicle
  • License revocation or suspension
  • Mandatory substance abuse treatment or alcohol treatment
  • Criminal penalties
  • Civil penalties
  • Jail or prison time
  • Probation
Who has Jurisdiction Over Defendants Charged With DUIs on Federal Land?

When service members are charged with a DUI, the military does not have exclusive jurisdiction over them. Civilian courts in North Carolina may also have jurisdiction over them. Service members who drive under the influence on federal property often face consequences both in civilian court and through the military.

For example, when a civilian commits a DUI on a military base, he or she will face prosecution in federal court by a federal prosecutor. However, if a military member commits a DUI on base, he or she likely will not face additional civilian charges. Federal courts apply the state law of the state in which the civilian was arrested. Thus, if a civilian commits a DUI on federal property, a federal court would apply North Carolina’s DWI laws during the trial.

Lawyers for DUI Cases Tried in Federal Court

If you are facing DUI charges that occurred on federal property, hiring skilled attorneys is essential. Not every lawyer is familiar with North Carolina’s DWI laws. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our attorneys have extensive experience defending clients in state and federal DUI trials. We understand federal trial procedures and use our experience to help our clients navigate state and federal court. Contact our North Carolina federal DUI defense lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.