Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?
A victim of crime cannot appeal the sentence, however, in the case of trials of serious crimes heard in the circuit, central criminal or special criminal courts, a victim of crime or a family member of a victim of crime who is unhappy with the sentence may make a written request to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to appeal the sentence. However, the decision to appeal the sentence is for the DPP to make. The DPP has the right to appeal where she/he considers the sentence to be excessively lenient. These provisions only apply to trials of serious crimes. The DPP must request a review within 28 days of the sentence being handed down but can apply for an extension of up to 56 days in certain circumstances.
Is further appeal possible?
Normally only one appeal is allowed. However, a further appeal may occur on a point of law. Again the decision is made by the DPP.
What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?
If you are the victim of a serious sexual or violent offence, you can ask the Irish Prison Service to notify you prior to the release of the offender. Sex offenders released from prison after September 2001 must also notify An Garda Síochána of their home address and any subsequent changes of address.
You can also contact the Prison Service’s Victim Liaison Officer (see Victim Liaison Service) to obtain information about the prison and parole system, make a complaint, or request notification about significant developments in the offender’s sentence management, such as release date.
The Prison Service will ensure that, if they are considering allowing the offender out on temporary release, any potential risk to you and the content of your victim impact statement (with your permission) will be taken fully into account.
The Parole Board of the Irish Prison Service advises the Minister for Justice and Law Reform in relation to the administration of long-term prison sentences. Prisoners who are serving determinate sentences of eight years or more but less than 14 years can have their cases reviewed by the Parole Board at the half of sentence stage and prisoners who are serving sentences of 14 years or more, including life sentences, will have their cases reviewed after seven years in custody. The Parole Board will take into account information concerning you and your family when making a recommendation for release of the offender. You can submit a request to the Parole Board that your views be considered in relation to sentence management decisions (e.g. regarding temporary release and parole). If you would like to make a submission, you must inform the Prison Victim Liaison Officer.
You have no access to any data or documents at this stage but you will be informed of the outcome of the parole or temporary release hearing.
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