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.

Legal representation in criminal cases
Types of criminal offence and the role of your defence counsel in a criminal case in Ireland are described.

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

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

Disclosure in criminal cases
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.

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

Sentencing at criminal trials in Ireland
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.

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

Maximum fines on summary conviction
There are 5 classes of maximum fine applying to summary convictions.

Court poor box
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).

Drug Offenders Register
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.

Sex Offenders Register
Those who are convicted of certain sexual offences are obliged to provide certain information to the Gardaí including the address at which they are living following their release from prison. This provision was introduced by the Sex Offenders Act 2001.