DUI Victim Impact Panel in Salisbury
The Salisbury chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is responsible for the running and scheduling of the Victim Impact Panel meeting. The Victim Impact Panel is a meeting that takes place at least once a month in Salisbury at the Wicomico County Civic Center. The panel is composed of a group of victims, or the family of victims, of a drunk driving incident. These panel meetings are often a requirement of DUI probation. A Salisbury DUI lawyer can answer any questions regarding these panels.
Role of Victim Impact Panels
Typically, in Salisbury, the victim impact panel meeting is a condition of probation. In other words, as a part of probation, the judge will order that the defendant attend a Victim Impact Panel meeting. Sometimes the judge will give the individual a time range, like within 90 days, they must attend the Victim Impact Panel meeting. If they were to fail to attend then that would be considered a violation of their probation and they would have to go back before the judge and try to explain why they did not attend the meeting. If they do not go, and were supposed to, they would be violating their probation.
Availability in Salisbury
In almost every DUI case in Salisbury, the judges make the defendant attend the Victim Impact Panel as a condition of probation. Attendance at the panel is required and the individual is told well in advance what the date and time of the meetings are. These panels are run by MADD, not by a government program.
In order to successfully complete probation, the individual would have to attend the Victim Impact Panel meeting. Essentially, they are given a slip of paper that tells the the date and time of the meeting and they have to take that slip of paper with them when they go.
At that meeting, they also have to pay a fee to attend and all of that is explained on the paper that they receive. It is very clear what their responsibilities are; they have to show up with their piece of paper and they have to attend the meeting and when the meeting is over, as everyone is leaving, somebody from the MADD chapter signs off just to prove that the individual actually attended the meeting.
In order to successfully complete probation, the individual cannot just allege that they went to the meeting. They have to bring back the written signed proof that they actually attended.
Length and Timing of Programs
The meeting lasts about two hours. When someone attends the meeting, there is a timeframe that they are told, how early they have to arrive before the meeting. The program itself, from start to finish, is probably over in three hours and they should only have to attend one victim impact panel meeting.
The meetings are held in the evening and there are some places in Maryland that offer weekend meetings.
If it is a condition of probation, an individual is able to attend the Victim Impact Panel meeting at the place closest to where they reside. If someone were to be convicted of a DUI in Salisbury but they reside somewhere else in the state of Maryland, then they do not have to travel back down to Salisbury to attend that particular victim impact panel meeting. They can attend one in the county where they live. Also, some of those counties offer the victim impact panel meetings at different times throughout the week and some on the weekends as well.
For a Salisbury resident who is convicted here in Wicomico County, those meetings are held once a month and it is on a weeknight evening so it can be attended after work.