DWI, Should You Get a MADD Victim Impact Panel Certificate?
7 months ago by Brian
If you are facing charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Woodbury or anywhere in Minnesota, the possible penalties can be harsh. A conviction can mean fines, losing your license, or even jail time. Another consequence can be that you must attend a Victim Impact Panel hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
In some cases, it can benefit you to proactively get a MADD Victim Impact Panel certificate. A DWI defense attorney can advise you on this, as well as other steps you can take to improve the outcome of your case.
What is the MADD Victim Impact Panel
MADD is a non-profit focused on ending drunk driving and related fatalities, as well as supporting victims of accidents.
As part of the program, MADD hosts Victim Impact Panels both online and in person for drunk-driving offenders to attend.
People who have had their lives impacted by drunk drivers share their stories, including those who suffered life-changing injuries or lost a child or a loved one in a drunk-driving crash.
Because many offenders do not acknowledge – or even remember – what they did wrong by driving drunk, MADD is trying to demonstrate the real-life consequences that DWI can have. The organization hopes to deter offenders from drunk driving in the future.
Should You Get a MADD Certificate While Your Case is Pending?
These panels can be uncomfortable for DWI offenders, even though victims do not directly call out offenders.
You might wonder why anyone would voluntarily attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel when it is not part of a court-ordered sentence. However, many DWI defendants choose to do so.
Proactively attending a panel can show the court that:
- You are taking responsibility for the DWI
- You understand the seriousness of the offense
Both of these can help the prosecutor and court be more lenient with sentencing if you plead guilty. Often, obtaining a MADD Victim Impact Panel certificate on your own can help you avoid jail time and get probation instead.
Your DWI defense lawyer can assess the circumstances of your charges and advise you whether this is a good idea.
Possible Penalties for a DWI
The penalties for a DWI conviction can be harsh in Minnesota, and a first-time offense can lead to:
- Up to 90 days in jail
- $1,000 in fines plus court costs
- Revocation of your license for 30 to 90 days
These penalties become significantly harsher if you had a BAC over 0.16 percent, had a child in the car at the time, or had prior DWI convictions.
Even if you do not receive jail time, the terms of probation can be difficult to meet. Anything you can do to minimize your penalties or probation conditions is important, including possibly attending a MADD Victim Impact Panel.
Seek Help from a Woodbury, MN DWI Defense Lawyer
If you are facing DWI charges, seek help from JS Defense, P.A., right away. Contact us to discuss your situation, and we can begin building your defense. Call: 651-362-9426.