Navigating the criminal justice system can be difficult and confusing for victims. You may not know what to expect, or what is expected of you. Some victims report finding the criminal justice process itself as traumatising as the crime. Having good information and plenty of support can help make it easier. The following pages will take you through the process including how to report a crime, what is involved in an Garda investigation and how a decision is made to prosecute.
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
Restorative Justice 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.