Is a D.U.I a federal offense?

If you get a D.U.I, one year’s license suspension, another vehicle was involved, and you left the scene is it considered a federal offense?

Asked on July 23, 2010 under Criminal Law, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally, the issue of the applicability of the law in a DUI case is that the courts look to the law of the state in which the offense has occurred.  So it is not a "federal offense" but a state offense.  If the law of the state is ambiguous then the court will most likely look at neighboring states and how they handle the matter.  Even if by some stretch of the imagination you landed in Federal Court on the matter the Judge would most likely apply the state law to the offense.  Generally, if there is a conflict of state and federal law then the federal law will rule.  But these matters are relegated to the states to decide.  Get an attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.