Facing a DUI in Colorado can be a confusing and stressful experience. Facing federal DUI charges in combination with Colorado DUI charges can compound the difficulty associated with these charges. If you are facing federal DUI charges, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney that understands the important distinctions of these types of charges. It is also important for you to understand more about those charges.
Distinctions in Federal Property
In Colorado, as in most other states, there are two distinct types of federal land: national parks and other federal property like military bases. The penalties associated with a DUI will vary depending on exactly what type of land it is. In fact, penalties may even change depending on your relationship with the federal property in question. Another important fact to remember about federal DUIs is that your refusal to submit to chemical testing can lead to significantly more severe consequences other than automatic revocation of your driving privileges. You could face denial of the right to drive on federal land as well as potential jail time since a refusal would also qualify as a federal misdemeanor.
Colorado National Parks
In a state as beautiful as Colorado, national parkland is abundant. If you receive a DUI while on national park property in Colorado, the case will fall under the jurisdiction of the United States National Park Service. The National Park Service is governed by the United States Code of Federal Regulations which stipulates that convictions for driving under the influence in a national park can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail. These convictions are classified as federal Class B Misdemeanors.
Other Federal Property
The United States Assimilative Crimes Act makes DUI charges and those for crimes not punishable by Congressional statutes resulting from actions taken on other federal lands – including military bases – subject to Colorado law. That means that Colorado DUI penalties are subject to enforcement should be convicted, including suspension of your license and other mandatory criminal penalties. The difference is that such cases are not tried in Colorado courts like regular DUIs would be. Instead, federal DUIs, even those subject to Colorado law, will be prosecuted in federal court.
Legal Assistance with DUI Charges
Whether you are facing Colorado or federal DUI charges, including those related to driving under the influence of drugs, it is important to recognize the serious criminal nature of a possible conviction. Such convictions can have a significant impact on your everyday lifestyle, including your ability to drive to work or take your children to school. If you are a repeat offender, you risk additional jail time with a conviction. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney that focuses their practice on helping clients facing similar charges is an important first step in putting forth your best defense. The knowledge and experience necessary to understand the various nuances of federal DUI cases is also extremely important. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the charges you are facing as well as the consequences of a potential conviction.
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(image courtesy of Jake Blucker)