You will be considered a victim of crime if you have suffered damage, e.g. you have been injured or your property has been damaged or stolen, etc., as a result of an incident that constitutes a crime according to national law. As a victim of crime, the law grants you certain individual rights before, during and after court proceedings (trial).
Criminal proceedings in Ireland consist of an investigation and trial. The police authorities in Ireland are known as ‘An Garda Síochána’ or ‘Gardaí’ for short. An Garda Síochána investigates the case. After the investigation, a decision whether or not to prosecute is made. For serious crimes, An Garda Síochána sends the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the DPP makes the decision to proceed. For less serious crimes, An Garda Síochána may make the decision to proceed. The decision to prosecute is based on public interest – whether the evidence gathered in the case would be likely to secure a conviction in the circumstances. If there is sufficient evidence to suggest that a conviction is likely, the offender will then be prosecuted.
The following factsheets will take you through the different steps of the procedure, describing your rights during the investigation of the crime, during the trial or after the first trial. Also, read more about the help and support you can get.