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Victim Impact Panels

If you are charged with a DUI, you may be asked by the court to participate in a victim impact panel. This is oftentimes requested if you are going through diversionary programs in order to avoid a DUI conviction. You can learn more about these panels and attending them on this page. For help defending yourself against a DUI charge, contact us.


Victim Impact Panels are commonly ordered by judges when requested by a state’s attorney as part of a defendant’s requirements before a DUI dismissal. When a Connecticut defendant is charged with a DUI, first-time offenders are usually given leniency in the form of programs, treatment, and fines in exchange for a dismissal of the DUI charge upon completion.

Victim Impact Panels

For first-time DUI offenders, the state’s attorney may make an offer that requires the defendant to complete a diversion program and will also require that the defendant complete a victim impact panel. The most common victim impact panel for DUI defendants is called Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

MADD Victim Impact Panels

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MADD’s mission statement is “to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.” A MADD impact panel involves the victims or families of the victims of drunk and drugged driving speaking about their experiences and how their lives have been impacted by a DUI accident.

At some point after the victim impact panel is ordered and before the deadline to complete all of the requirements is ordered by the court, the defendant must search the MADD website for a location or a local class online. After finding a class, the defendant needs to sign up and reserve a spot in the class and pay the registration fee of $75. After attending the MADD class, the defendant will receive a copy of the certificate that is issued after completion.

Many first-time DUI offenders have never experienced the criminal justice system or even had any contact with law enforcement before. It can be an incredibly difficult and stressful process, and many times first-time DUI offenders feel horrible about their mistake.

This can make any person very uncomfortable with the idea of sitting before victims or victims’ families who are speaking about how much they have gone through as a result of the actions that the defendant has been accused of. However, this program is aimed at helping change the mind of the defendant, rather than simply making them feel bad. Although it can be difficult to sit through, it is very often a requirement that a defendant must get through in order to qualify for a dismissal of their DUI case.

The MADD program does not satisfy the need for a diversionary program. Instead, it is requirement that is ordered in addition to alcohol education or substance abuse treatment.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Connecticut, it is important to familiarize yourself with the MADD program and to prepare yourself for the possibility of having to complete this program. If you have further questions about victim impact panels, contact Lady DUI today.

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