When an investigation is completed, a decision is made whether to prosecute someone for the crime. The decision to prosecute is sometimes called "file charges".
In more serious crimes (indictable offenses), the decision is made by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The decision about whether to prosecute is based primarily on whether or not there is enough evidence to prove in court, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a crime was committed by the suspect. If a decision is made not to prosecute a crime, it doesn’t mean that the Gardaí or the DPP don’t believe the victim. It most circumstances it simply means they don’t think they have enough evidence to successfully secure a conviction in court.
For summary offenses or when the offender is a juvenile, a decision is sometimes made to offer a Caution rather than bring a case to court.
Regardless of who made the decision, you will be notified of it by the investigating Garda or the Garda Victim Service Office.
When a decision is made not to prosecute a case (or to stop investigating a case), victims have a right to request the reasons for why the decision was made. The request should be made within 28 days of being informed of the decision.
Victims also have the right to request a review of the decision. The review will be done by someone different than the person who made the original decision. The request for a review should be made within 56 days of being informed of the decision not to prosecute.
Requests for reasons and/or review need to be made in writing.
When it is the Gardaí who made the decision, requests should be sent to the Superintendent directly or through the Garda Victim Service Office. You can use the form provided by the Gardaí. You can also send requests in a letter drafted by you or your solicitor.
If the decision was made by the DPP, requests should be sent to the Victim Liaison Unit, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Infirmary Road, Dublin 7. The DPP has provided a form that can be used to request the reasons for a decision.
You can also send a letter drafted by you or your solicitor. The DPP does not have a form for requesting a review of the decision so the request should be sent in a letter.
If you are in immediate danger or there is an emergency, you should dial the Garda emergency number at 999 or 112.LEARN MORE
The first Garda you speak to will take down your information (such as name, address, date of birth and phone number) and the basic details of what happened.LEARN MORE
When an investigation is completed, a decision is made whether to prosecute someone for the crime. The decision to prosecute is sometimes called “file charges”.LEARN MORE
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decides whether or not to charge people for committing serious crimes and what the charges should be. The DPP is also responsible for prosecuting indictable offenses.LEARN MORE
When the Gardaí or the DPP decide to prosecute, the case then goes to court. Most of the time, the investigating Garda will be the person who informs you about court dates and other developments.LEARN MORE
When someone pleads guilty or is found guilty in court, all victims have a right to submit a victim impact statement (sometimes called a “personal statement”) before the judge decides on a sentence. Providing a victim impact statement is a right but not a requirement.LEARN MORE
When someone is convicted of a crime, they are sometimes sentenced to spend time in custody. Adults are placed in prison or the Central Mental Hospital. Juveniles are placed at the Oberstown Children Detention Campus.LEARN MORE
Is a term to describe a variety of practices that seek to provide opportunities for perpetrators to repair the harm they have done. The process generally requires the person to admit responsibility for the crime.
The Crime Victims Helpline is a listening and support service for victims of crime in Ireland. We provide time and space for victims to talk about their experiences. We also answer questions about the criminal justice system and help victims understand their rights.
If you or a friend or family member has been impacted by crime, there are a number of organization in Ireland who can help.