how long can the garda hold onto your possessions if they need them for evidence in a case, when they have no suspects?
nothing yet, the Grada have my car and they say they need it as evidence and i have been told it could be months before i get my car back.
1. Where you want your property back from the Gardai Siochana, the course to adopt is to make an application under the Police Property Act, 1897. This act gives a court power to Order the Gardai to hand over property which has come into their possession, whether in the course of an investigation or other wise.
2. Our law in this area is heavily skewed towards the Gardai. Ms. Justice Denham in our Supreme Court has stated in one decision that "Nothing in the Police Property Act, 1897, gives to an applicant, the right to his property where there is a criminal investigation in being. Property lawfully obtained by an Garda Siochana, may be retained for a criminal investigation. This is a clear matter of public policy"
3. However, there are limitations on the Gardai's right to retain property. In another case, it has been held that the Gardai have no title to the property seized, but only a temporary right to retain the property, on specified statutory investigative provisions.
4. Your car may be retained by the Gardai, pending the outcome of the investigation. However, the car isyours and must be returned, once the investigation has come to a conclusion, or until the investigation ought reasonably to have come to a conclusion. To expedite the point at which you will get the return of your car, consideration ought to be given to requesting the Gardai to prepare any reports or examinations of the vehicle which might be necessary to further the investigation. Indicate also that you will preserve the vehicle if the subsequently want to re-examine it.
5. You provide no detail as to why the Gardai want the vehicle and in connection with what type of case. There must be some proportionality between the investigation and the need to retain the car.
the car was involved in a serious crime where somebody was shot and killed... the car was used to hit the gunman and it was also shot at. however their is car finance pending on the car and is costing me €300 per month but i don't actually have the car in my possession and I'm worried that i might end up paying for a car for a long period of time while i never actaully have the use of the car.
6. When you say the car is on finance, how was the loan arranged? Was it with a car dealer, or have you gone into a bank eg AIB and got a separate loan? could the car be on hire purchase?
Barrister 17 years experience
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