Generally, courts will order four types of courses: driving under the influence, domestic violence, anger management, and parenting courses. Each type of class has a specific goal that the court hopes to achieve.
Courses for Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is one of the most common court-ordered courses. When a person is sentenced to an OWI education program online, the goal is for the driver to realize the dangers associated with driving while impaired and to learn how to avoid such circumstances in the future. This course often involves taking multiple online classes that deal with alcohol consumption and its effect on a driver.
Some states offer different programs geared towards families of offenders, minors, and commercial drivers writing either a general OWI or a drug-related OWI charge. In addition to coursework, many courts require convicted individuals to prove that they have installed an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle once they are allowed back on the road. This device operates as a breathalyzer to ensure the driver does not re-offend.
Domestic Violence Courses
Domestic violence courses are intended to help individuals who have been abusive towards their partners or family members. The program provides education on the effects that abuse can have on victims and resources for how to break the cycle of abuse. Most programs are a minimum of 26 weeks in length and often require group sessions as well as individual counseling.
Anger Management Courses
Anger management courses aim to help individuals learn how to deal with their anger healthily. This course can be beneficial for those who have gotten into fights with others and exhibited aggressive or violent behavior, especially in a public setting. The average anger management course is about ten weeks long and typically includes both group and individual counseling.
Parenting courses offer guidance and instruction on becoming a better caregiver for children. This class can benefit both parents who are in contested child custody cases and new parents who need some guidance on dealing with the legal side of parenting (for example, which parent has to pay for medical bills). These courses typically last about ten weeks and include some group sessions.
A court will decide which courses are required based on the crime committed and other factors such as the age and education level of the offender. In many cases, a defendant may choose between several classes to complete to satisfy their sentencing requirements.