Frequently Asked Questions
** These are regular questions that we receive from people that are considering doing this course. The answers to these questions are general in nature only and are not designed to be specific legal advice. You should obtain your own independent legal advise on any specific questions that you have.**
Is this course compulsory?
The completion of the RATE Program is not compulsory if you are going to court. Having said that though, it is a very good idea to complete the program as it will demonstrate to the court that you have taken steps to address
Why should I complete this course?
Put simply, by completing this course you may be able to demonstrate to the court that you are taking steps to address any offending behaviour or any other underlying problems. You may be able to demonstrate that your offending was one off and isolated. You may be able to demonstrate that you have learnt something from your experience and have addressed any issues involving rehabilitation. You may be eligible to receive a reduction in your sentence. You may be eligible to receive a reduction in the length of the disqualification of your drivers licence. You may be eligible to receive a restricted licence / work licence (where the legislation in that state or territory allows). It may be the difference in whether or not you go to jail.
How long does it take to complete the course?
There is approximately 3 hours of lecture time which must be viewed online. In addition, there is are course notes which must be completed. The course notes are a reflection of what you have learnt from the program and it is expected that you will take 30 – 45 minutes to complete those notes.
The total average time to complete the course is 3 ½ hours.
What will I learn from the course?
- Counselling / Psychology :- Delivered by a Qualified Psychologist who will discuss offending behaviour, decision making, making wise choices, the consequences of poor decision making.
- Legal Perspective :- Delivered by a Solicitor who will discuss the law, offences, punishment and consequences, court procedures, and preparation for court.
- Police Perspective :- Delivered by a Police Officer who will discuss road trauma, the law, investigation process, road compliance, offences and consequences of non compliance.
- Road Trauma Victim Perspective :- Delivered by a victim of road trauma and will discuss the impact of road trauma, injuries, death, life changes, physical / emotional / financial and psychological consequences of offending on the road.
- Safe operation of a motor vehicle :- Delivered by a qualified driver educator who will discuss the requirements for the preparation and safe operation of a vehicle, the correct attitude and approach when driving, and some practical advice when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Who are the presenters?
All of the presenters are experts in road safety who have had many years experience in the industry. The presenters are educators who have a passion and the required knowledge to pass onto those who want to learn to be safe on the roads.
How much does the course cost?
The cost of the course is $225.00 and can be paid through paypal or credit card on our website. The course must be paid for in full prior to the commencement of the first session. The course fee is non refundable and non transferrable.
Once the course fee is paid you will be emailed a specific code which will give you a one off access to log into the course.
Can I represent myself in court?
It is not essential that you have a lawyer represent you in court. It is however a good idea to seek legal advice prior to you making the decision of whether or not you will represent yourself. Having a lawyer has many advantages and a qualified and experienced lawyer will usually help you get the best result in all the circumstances.
What is a Magistrate / Judge?
A Magistrate is the Judicial Officer who sits in the Magistrates / Local Court. A Magistrate hears the vast majority of all matters. A Judge is the Judicial Officer who sits in the District / Supreme / County Court. The Magistrate / Judge is the person who will be making the decision about your punishment.
What happens when I complete the course?
When you successfully complete the viewing of each of the online lectures you will be required to complete the course notes which are also available online. Once you have completed your course notes you will need to submit them to the course coordinator for assessment. You will then receive a certificate of completion and a certified copy of your course notes. You will need to give these documents to your lawyer, or if you don’t have a lawyer representing you, you will need to give these directly to the Magistrate or Judge.
What do I do in court?
You should seek legal advice prior to going to court. You can speak to the Legal Aid office, free Community Legal Centres or arrange for private legal representation.
You will need to give your certificate of completion and course notes to the Magistrate or Judge. The court may ask you about the course and what you have learnt from it.
You should listen carefully in court and be polite and respectful at all times.
Will this course give me a reduced penalty?
Just because you complete this course it will not guarantee that you will receive a reduced penalty. However, the court will usually take into consideration any efforts at rehabilitation and education. By completing this course you may be able to demonstrate to the court that you have learnt something from the entire process, and accordingly, you will be a person with a reduced risk of reoffending in the future. You should listen carefully during the lectures and take as many notes as you possibly can which will assist you in completing your course notes.
How do I enrol in the program?
It is simple to enrol in the program. You simply need to complete the online application form and pay the course fee. You will then be given a specific and one off enrolment code which will give you full access to the online program including the lectures and case notes. If you have any additional questions you can send the course coordinator an email who will answer your questions.
What happens if I can’t complete this course prior to court?
If you have an upcoming court date you should commence this course as soon as possible. If you can’t get it completed prior to the court date then you should ask the Magistrate or Judge for an adjournment to allow you to complete the program. You should however do everything possible to get the program completed prior to court to avoid unnecessary delays. There is no guarantee that the court will grant an adjournment.
I don’t have a camera on my computer – what do I do?
You will need to have access to a computer with a camera to be able to do the course. If your computer does not have a camera then you should make attempts to have access to a computer that does. You may be able to go to your local library, speak to friends or relatives that can assist you.
Does the court recognise these programs?
Generally speaking, the courts will recognise rehabilitation programs such as the RATE Program. In order to demonstrate that you have learnt something from the course, it is recommended that you spend some time and reflect on what you have seen and heard. You should make detailed and insightful comments in your course notes.
Is it worth completing the course?
Yes, it is very much worth completing the RATE Program. Any genuine attempts at rehabilitation and education that you take will help you as a person, and also probably assist you in court. There are no guarantees that the court will reduce your penalty but the successful completion of the program will create a very persuasive argument for the reduction in penalties including; jail time, probation, community service, suspended sentences, fines and licence disqualifications where the legislation allows.
What type of police charges are relevant to this course?
This course is relevant to any charge that relates to a motor vehicle. That can include; drink driving, unlicenced driving, dangerous driving, hooning, any traffic infringements, drug driving, police chases, evading police, speeding, negligent driving, repeat offences, and driving without due care and attention.
I am in another state / territory or country – can I still do this course?
Anyone can do this course, no matter which state or territory, or country you are from. The principles in this course relate to safety and security on our roads. These principles apply anywhere.
I have not been charged with an offence, can I still do this course?
Of course you can. This program is designed not only for rehabilitation of offenders, but also for education purposes. Part of our mission statement reads, “We are aiming to make our streets a safer place.” This principle applies to every member of our community, not just traffic offenders.