DUI and DWI offenses charged in Federal Court are common in Colorado due to our state’s national parks and military bases. This criminal charge accuses a motorists of driving under the influence on federal property, or property that is under federal jurisdiction. Federal DUI charges are prosecuted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
The potential sentence for a federal DUI conviction in Colorado depends on where the allegation occurred. If you were arrested in a federal park, the United States Code of Federal Regulation applies, and you face up to six months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
If you were arrested on any other federal land in Colorado, such as a facility or military base, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado will follow Colorado law through the Assimilative Crimes Act, located at 18 U.S.C. § 13.
Upon conviction for a DUI in federal court, you face up to 1 year and up to $1,000 fine with no aggravating factors pursuant to Colorado’s Title 42. In addition, federal law provides that certain aggravating factors, such as the presence of a minor in the vehicle, or serious injury or death to another as a result of the DUI, provide additional imprisonment over what state law carries for the same conduct.
U.S. Federal Code
Federal law defines Driving While Intoxicated and Driving Under the Influence as driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while having an alcohol concentration above the permitted limit as established in Colorado. Under Colorado law, as applied to federal DUI cases, it is presumed that a driver is under the influence of alcohol if the driver’s “alcohol concentration” is .08 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
In federal court, while a judge or magistrate may follow Colorado’s law based on where the DUI occurred, there are procedural differences that even the most skilled defense attorneys are unaware of. For example, because Driving Under the Influence is considered a petty crime under the U.S. Code, you may not be entitled to a jury trial. In addition, you may be contacted by a federal pretrial services officer prior to your first court appearance to determine whether you will remain free while your case is pending. Also, each United States District Court Judge has his or her own rules that must be followed.
An attorney with experience defending federal DUI cases can determine the applicable law, negotiate with the Assistant United States Attorney or Military Officer prosecuting your case, and develop a defense strategy to defend your case in court.
If you have been charged with drunk driving in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, contact Jay Tiftickjian’s law firm for experienced and recognized representation. Our attorneys are admitted to federal court, and have a proven experience defending DUI cases. We understand the procedural and practical aspects to these charges and will work to get you the best possible outcome.
Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. defends federal DUI charges in Colorado such as Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Springs Air Force Academy, Buckley Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain, Peterson Air Force Base and Fort Carson Army Base.