If you’re convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Colorado, you may have to go to a DUI victim impact panel as part of your sentencing. Facing victims of drunk driving accidents and their families can be intimidating – here’s what to expect and how working with a qualified Denver criminal defense attorney may help you avoid a conviction altogether.
A victim impact panel is a special program that teaches DUI offenders about the consequences of their actions. There are usually a handful of people on the panel who were impacted by drunk driving and speak about their experiences. You might see accident survivors, other DUI offenders, first responders, family members, and other people who have been affected by someone’s choice to drink and drive.
The entire panel lasts between 2 to 3 hours and can be in-person or online. You can expect the atmosphere to be serious and emotional, and there may be many people who are crying or angry as they tell their stories.
Topics Covered On The Panel
The speakers on the victim impact panel will talk about important topics like:
- How drunk driving accidents cause injury and death
- The financial cost of drinking and driving for victims, offenders, and their families
- The legal consequences of multiple DUIs
- The impact of accidents on first responders and emergency room doctors
- How people struggling with addiction can get support
Even though going to a DUI victim impact panel can be uncomfortable, it’s also a valuable experience for offenders who need more help understanding how their actions might affect other people.
When You Should Call An Experienced Denver DUI Lawyer
Most judges in Colorado order DUI offenders to attend a victim impact panel. If it’s your first DUI, you may be able to attend a panel and do community service instead of going to jail.
The severity of your sentencing has a lot to do with the skill and competency of your criminal defense lawyer. A savvy attorney can make the difference between jail time or DUI classes. They can look for the strongest possible defense and argue for your charges to be dismissed or reduced.
Don’t hesitate to get legal support after a drunk driving arrest in Denver. Call Richard B. Huttner today for more information or to book your free initial criminal defense consultation at 303-981-6366.