Victim Impact Panels
If you’re convicted for Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by alcohol or drugs, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), or with an Aggravated DWI, New York courts will impose a number of penalties, including a suspension of your license, fines, and possibly even time behind bars. Depending on the severity of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you may receive only a sentence of probation, imposing certain terms with which you must comply in order to avoid possible jail time. Being represented by an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney can help to ensure that any sentence you receive is fair. Our DWI defense lawyers at Dupée & Monroe will gladly offer you a consultation on possible defense strategies that will reduce the impact that an arrest for DWI will have on your life.
What happens at a Victim Impact Panel
Participation in a Victim Impact Panel is one example of a condition that a court will impose on those serving a sentence of probation for a misdemeanor conviction of DWI. At these panels, probation officers will speak about DWI enforcement efforts, and participants will hear personal stories of drunk driving’s impact on people’s lives. Members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, including victims of drunk drivers themselves, or their surviving friends and family, will describe the ways in which drunk drivers affected their lives. These panels are designed to reduce recidivism among drunk driving offenders.
How to enroll
Each New York county administers its own Victim Impact Panels on its own schedule. For example, the Orange County office of Emergency Services is charged with holding Victim Impact Panels for attendance by those convicted of DWI. Panels tend to be offered approximately six times a year, usually in the evening, and last approximately 2 ½ hours. In order to enter a Victim Impact Panel audience, those organizing the event will frequently administer a breathalyzer test, and prevent those who test positive for alcohol from attending and obtaining a certificate of completion.
Fees to attend a Victim Impact Panel range from $75-$120. Some counties will permit you to attend the panel without first paying the fee, but they will not issue you a certificate of completion until you pay the required fee. Once completed, you must submit the certificate to the court to prove you have complied with that condition of your probation.
If you’ve been arrested on criminal charges such as DWI, possession of a controlled substance, or assault, you’re entitled to a fair hearing before the court. Make sure you’re represented by a New York criminal defense attorney who will provide you with an aggressive defense, and help to put you on track for a brighter future. Immediately after your arrest in Orange County, contact the Goshen offices of Dupée & Monroe for a consultation on the charges you face, at 845-294-8900.