Criminal trials

    A summons is issued by your District Court in Ireland after a complaint has been made against you by a Garda. There are important rules about the content of the summons and how this document is served on you.

    The type of offence you are charged with determines what kind of legal representation you will need in criminal cases. This page explains the types of criminal offence and the duties of the defence counsel.

    Information on the time limits for the commencement of criminal proceedings in Ireland is provided.

    An introduction to the various types of criminal trial that take place in Ireland.

    In a criminal trial the prosecution has a duty to disclose to the defence, in advance of the trial, all relevant evidence which it has. However, this duty can vary.

    The law regarding criminal insanity and mental health sets out rules on fitness to plead, diminished responsibility and the Mental Health Review Board.

    Where a court in Ireland has found you guilty of an offence or you have pleaded guilty, the judge will decide on your sentence. Read about the rules on sentencing of criminals in Ireland.

    There are a range of sentences available to judges that can be imposed on someone found guilty of a criminal offence.

    Information on fines allowable for those summarily convicted in the District Court or convicted on indictment in the Circuit Court or High Court.

    Judges in courts in Ireland order offenders to make a donation to the Court Poor Box (i.e., make a donation to a charity in lieu of conviction).

    The Drug Offenders Register was introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2006 and is based on the same principle as the Sex Offenders Register. It enables the movements of convicted drug dealers to be recorded.

    This document provides information about the treatment and monitoring of sex offenders in Ireland. It includes detail on the sex offenders register, post-release supervision orders, sex offender orders and the treatment of sex offenders in prison.