Your Local Federal Defense Attorney in Columbus, OH
Find a Defense Attorney for Federal Alcohol Charges at Scott & Nolder
If you are a Columbus, OH, resident who has been charged with a federal alcohol-related offense, a seasoned federal defense attorney at Scott & Nolder can help. Felony DUI charges are serious offenses resulting in significant jail sentences and stiff fines. Because felonies never leave your record, the crime will still impact you long after you serve your time. It is critical to find a criminal attorney who knows how to handle your case and work hard to achieve the best possible outcome. Don’t wait to call on a professional defense attorney if you or a loved one is facing a conviction for a felony alcohol-related offense. This mistake should not dictate the rest of your life. No matter the circumstances surrounding your case, you must give your alcohol offense the level of attention it deserves by relying on a seasoned federal crime lawyer at Scott & Nolder.
How Can a DUI Become a Federal Charge?
Most DUI or alcohol-related cases are tried in state courts. The United States Constitution grants states latitude to handle laws broken within their states, and in most cases, the federal government defers to states. However, there are some instances where a DUI might be a federal crime. Federal crimes potentially result in much more severe sentencing guidelines, so it is critical to hire an experienced federal criminal lawyer, as opposed to one who handles statewide cases. How does a DUI charge become a federal crime? Federal DUI cases occur on federally-owned property. Because the federal government owns vast swaths of property throughout the United States, these situations are more common than you think. Federal property includes:
- Tracts of land, parking lots, or buildings owned by the United States Government
- National monuments or historical grounds
- Courthouses and the property immediately surrounding them
- National parks and forests
In most cases, first-time offenders are charged with a misdemeanor, unless they committed another crime while driving under the influence (such as vehicular manslaughter). There are other exceptions, and if they apply to a scenario taking place on federal property, then a federal prosecutor will handle your case. For instance:
- The individual must have been impaired by illegal or prescription drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the infraction.
- Law enforcement reported blood alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent.
- One last thing to note, implied consent laws (such as refusing a breathalyzer) apply on federal lands as well.
Is a Felony DUI Different from a Federal DUI?
There are some distinctions between the two. As stated above, the vast majority of DUI offenses are handled as misdemeanors and rarely tried at the federal level. However, felony DUI offenses do exist and depend entirely on several circumstances, any of which might escalate your case to a felony or federal charge. State laws play a major role in determining whether defendants are charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Some of the determining factors might include blood alcohol content levels, whether the offense caused injury or death, previous offenses, whether a child was in the vehicle, or whether the infraction occurred while driving with a suspended license. The important distinction between felony and federal crimes is where the crime took place. The life-changing consequences of felony DUI are serious, and include:
- Jail time
- Hefty fines
- Loss of driving certification
A Skilled Federal Defense Attorney You Can Trust in Columbus, OH
If you or a loved one are facing any of the above offenses, get in touch with a knowledgeable defense attorney at Scott & Nolder! We understand these types of cases are difficult to navigate on your own, which is why our legal team will help you stay informed and fight for your rights. For over five decades, we have helped Columbus, OH alcohol-related offenders negotiate a plea bargain to lesser offenses with fewer charges. Put your trust in the law firm of Scott & Nolder by contacting us today. We look forward to representing you.