What is a Victim Impact Panel in Nevada?
November 10, 2020
As the former Chief Judge of the DUI Court and now a DUI defense attorney, I’m often asked by clients about the requirement of a Victim Impact Panel. Here’s what you need to know: drivers convicted of DUI in Nevada must attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP). That’s true regardless of the DUI offense.
The Victim Impact panel allows DUI offenders the opportunity to learn about the potentially fatal and life-altering consequences of driving under the influence by listening to the stories of DUI victims and survivors. Hearing these stories is intended to “impact” offenders by causing them to understand the potential real-world consequences of their actions. This is why it’s called a Victim Impact Panel.
Members of the panel discuss how DUI-related events impacted the lives of themselves and their families. Generally, DUI offenders have little to no interaction with the panel members, aside from observing and listening to them. However, by listening, the impact is felt.
Victim Impact Panels are often presented by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organization. In certain situations, DUI offenders may attend VIP courses online if circumstances don’t allow for in-person gatherings.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Las Vegas or the surrounding areas, attending a Victim Impact Panel (at your own cost) is just one of the penalties you face. DUI convictions also incur jail time, fines, DUI classes, license suspension, and more.
Don’t gamble with your future. Contact The Vegas Lawyers or give us a call at (707) 702 – 7000 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
What Are The Goals of a Victim Impact Panel?
The goals of a Nevada Victim Impact Panel are clear. They include:
- Allowing the victims and survivors to share their experiences
- Increase awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence
- Give DUI offenders real-life examples of how their behavior can affect others
- Help to decrease and eventually prevent DUIs
Victim Impact Panels do not advocate shaming DUI offenders or blaming them. On the contrary, the panel’s primary goal is to educate the individual and increase their awareness of the dangers of intoxicated driving.
What’s The Difference Between DUI School and a Victim Impact Panel?
Judges typically order DUI offenders to attend a Victim Impact Panel as well as Nevada DUI school. It’s important not to get these two confused, as they are both compulsory. If you fail to attend either, you could face serious consequences.
A few major differences between the two include:
- A judge can sentence you to an 8-hour, 16-hour, or 24-hour DUI school course. VIPs are only about 1-2 hours long
- DUI school includes lectures, discussions, activities, quizzes, and a test. The Victim Impact Panel just requires participants to listen to the panel members
- Victim Impact Panels typically cost less than Nevada DUI school
Some DUI schools offer free Victim Impact Courses when you enroll. However, it’s essential to check with your Las Vegas DUI lawyer to ensure that the court will accept your selected course.
Contact The Vegas Lawyers Today – We Can Help
If you’ve been charged with a DUI offense in Nevada, you don’t have to fight alone, we’re here to help. We’ve developed a reputation as one of the best DUI law firms in southern Nevada because we understand what’s at stake; your life.
Don’t gamble with your future when you don’t have to. Our team of skilled DUI attorneys and paralegals can help you to receive the least amount of penalties possible under the circumstances.
Contact The Vegas Lawyers or give us a call at (702) 707-7000 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
Author: Tony Abbatangelo, Esq.
Anthony “Tony” L. Abbatangelo Esq. is a smart, compassionate attorney that knows how to get results and is no stranger to the courtroom. Tony and his team are ready to assist you with your criminal and DUI defense.