Rights of victims of crime

Where do rights come from?

All of the rights and services explained on this website are based on EU law under the Victims of Crime Directive. This important piece of EU law was brought into Irish law by the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017.

This website highlights your rights at every stage of the criminal justice process from the beginning when you first contact the police to the end when an offender might be released. This website was up to date when it was published and will be updated as the laws change. There might be some delay in updating the website.

Remember: You have the right to have your dignity protected throughout the criminal justice process.

Rights after the trial

If there has been a trial, you should receive the following information afterwards: Information about the verdict or outcome of a trial and any appeal judgments if there is an appeal. You should be told about the date and place of any appeal taken by the offender or the prosecution. The offender might appeal the verdict or appeal the sentence if they think it is too long or harsh. The prosecution might appeal the verdict or the sentence if they think it is too lenient (not long or harsh enough). An appeal means the case will be heard by another, higher court. If the offender’s trial was before a judge only and not a jury, you can request a summary of the reasons given by the judge. However, in more serious cases where a trial involves a jury, you will not be given reasons for the decision of the jury. You will only find out if it is a “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict, as juries cannot give reasons. If the accused person was convicted of having committed the crime (a finding of guilt): You should be informed about the date of sentencing. A criminal sentence is the punishment that the judge decides the convicted person should receive for their crime. Sometimes the accused is sentenced on the day of the guilty verdict, but usually, the sentencing will happen at a later date. You should be informed about the sentence given and any orders made by the court when giving the sentence. For example, the judge might make a compensation order ordering the offender to compensate you. Or the judge might give conditions that the offender has to follow if their sentence is “suspended”. A suspended sentence means that they will be released after a period of time if they follow the conditions. For example, a sentence might be 18 months with the final 6 months suspended, which means they will be released after 12 months. If the offender receives a prison sentence and is sent to prison, a special centre or a children’s detention school, you can register your interest in receiving information with the Irish Prison Service that you want information about the accused. Then you can get information on: their release date: the year and month in which they are expected to be released and whether there are any conditions for their release if they are being released early any temporary release they are given, and any conditions attached to such release which relates to you any transfer of the offender while in custody to or from a prison, designated centre, detention school, court, hospital or any other place any escape by the offender and any measures which are put in place for your protection as a result of such escape and the death of the offender while in custody or on temporary or conditional release


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