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Tampa Criminal Defense
Tampa's Aggressive Criminal Defense Firm

What Is A Victim Impact Panel in Tampa?

You recently got a list of fines and other punishments following a Tampa DUI conviction and one may standout to you among the more traditional punishments—mandatory attendance of a vVctim Impact Panel. A Victim Impact Panel is essentially an interactive course aimed at teaching drivers the realities of drunk driving; with the ultimate goal of changing the negative driving behaviors. The course not only goes over how to avoid drunk driving instances and general facts, but also has a panel of victims of drunk driving speak about their experiences. From children who have lost their parents to drunk drivers that have been on trial for vehicular manslaughter, many people find the Victim Impact Panel to be an incredibly emotional and educational experience.

Many Tampa courts also assign reckless drivers and habitual traffic offenders this unique educational program as part of their punishment. Unlike other DUI punishments, attending a Victim Impact Panel has had many positive effects on drivers and many have volunteered to speak or work with panels down the line. This panel is not just a Tampa DUI punishment, rather it is becoming increasingly popular requirement throughout the United States.

The victim impact panel consists of the following basic elements:

 – Education: Aimed at informing the drivers of the effects their decisions have on the larger community, the education portion of the Victim Impact Panel goes over statistical, financial and emotional data as it relates to drinking and driving. It also provides attendees with literature to take home and review with his or her friends and family.
 – Visual Education: Video footage looking at the reaching effects drunk driving can have on a community is presented to leave a lasting visual impact of their decision and hopefully ensure that drunk driving is a one-time thing.
 – Panel Discussion: Perhaps the most difficult part of the panel, the discussion includes stories by victims of drunk driving. The panel is made up of individuals that have suffered life-changing injuries as the result of drunk driving as well as individuals that have lost family members and friends. In reality, the discussion is intended to be educational rather than confrontational in nature and give drivers a chance to confront their decisions.
 – Facilitator Discussion: Time to ask questions and also get further information on additional courses or support groups.

One final thing to keep in mind—attendance is mandatory so if you fail to meet this obligation, there will be consequences in much the same way that there would be for failing to meet another term of your Tampa DUI punishment. At Finebloom & Haenel P.A., we know how stressful dealing with a DUI can be. If you have recently been charged with a DUI, give us a call today for a free consultation on your case. We will explain to you your legal options and work hard to get you the best result possible. We are available day and night and look forward to hearing from you soon.

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