|Mandatory Class in NY if convicted or plea to ANY DWI case (image courtesy of gcasa.org)|
To begin, the VICTIM IMPACT PANEL is a class that runs about 2 hours and shows people all of the terrible things that can happen (and do happen) as a result of driving while intoxicated or impaired.
In New York, the VIP is a mandatory part of ANY DWI or DWAI sentence. Every county in NY is required to have these panels. Some counties hold them regulary (Like in Syracuse), or hold them quarterly (like here in Ithaca)...etc
The point is --if you plead guilty to or are convicted of a DW offense...you must attend one of these classes.
Here are a couple of pro tips:
-show up at least half hour beforehand (if they close the doors on you --then you have VIOLATED the Court's order)
-stay awake during presentation (or it is a violation)
-show up sober (...people have been kicked out of these things and violated for being drunk or high)
-stay the entire time until you are dismissed
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T GO?
It depends. However, in Ithaca very recently there have been a ton of people who missed the VIP. So Judge Miller has told all us defense lawyers in town that if our clients fail to show up and meet the criteria for the VIP, then he will IMMEDIATELY ISSUE ARREST WARRANTS for those who fail to show.
So if you're in Ithaca and have to attend one of these....I suggest you go.
In addition to pissing off the judge, you will also have technically violated either your Conditional Discharge or Probation requirements --and can be resentenced up to the maximum of whatever crime you plead guilty to...
The consequences are harsh if you don't go to this thing. It's easy to get to and it's a one-night commitment, but people still miss it.
That's a bad idea for you.