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Ask John Quirke, Esq Your Own Question
John Quirke, Esq
John Quirke, Esq,
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 19
Experience:  Barrister at Law at Self Employed
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I was charged under the Criminal Damage Act, 1991, Section 2, but

Customer Question

Hi, I was charged under the Criminal Damage Act, 1991, Section 2, but no one at the station mentioned the Adult Cautioning Scheme. Am I or my legal representation supposed to suggest or request this option be offered to me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As a 54 yr old and never before been arrested or in court what sentence can I expect if found guilty and is it possible the Probation Act would be applied and what does this entail?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I was charged under the Criminal Damage Act, 1991, Section 2, but no one at the station mentioned the Adult Cautioning Scheme.Am I or my legal representation supposed to suggest or request this option be offered to me?I left the station after a 6 hour detention and a 4 hour interview. No one at the station told me what happens next. I think it's up to the office of Public Prosecutions to decide if the case will be brought to court.How long does it take for this decision?Can I expect a hand delivered Summons to appear at a certain court at a particular day/time ?Can the day/time of the court case be delay/deferred or changed?Thank you
Expert:  John Quirke, Esq replied 1 year ago.
The Adult caution scheme would apply to the offence of Criminal Damage provided the amount of Damage is less than €1000.00. Is the damage less or more than €1000.00? If you were not charged with the offence and NOT remanded on bail, then a decision to prosecute is yet to be decided by the DPP. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the criminal Damage, the DPP can decide to prosecute you in either the District Court or on indictment in the Circuit Court or not at all or apply the adult Caution scheme. This is not your decision and not for you to make any representations at this time, I would suggest. If they decide to prosecute you summarily in the District Court, the Prosecutor has 6 months to make the complaint (though any summons could be served after this time period).If they decide to prosecute you in the Circuit court or decide not to summons you, they would have to arrest you again for the purpose of charge, put you on bail and remand you to the next sitting of the court where you would be assigned a date. They can choose either procedure though if you are prosecuted on indictment (Circuit Court) you will be arrested not summonsed. if it is considered a minor offence (District Court) you may be summonsed or arrested and this can occur at any time sometimes in excess on one year after the alleged offence (though complaint must be made within 6 months) This decision to apply the adult caution scheme is made if the investigating Gard thinks that you are a suitable candidate. In that eventuality, he makes a recommendation to the Superintendent who will decide whether it is in the Public Interest to apply the scheme. Unfortunately once a prosecution has been initiated I believe it is too late to apply the scheme . The scheme only applies if you are prepared to plead guilty. It is difficult to know the likelihood of having the probation act applied without knowing the nature or seriousness of the offence alleged against you or what was said at interview but if you are prepared, or already have paid for damage (compensated the owner of the property) and indicated remorse and the victim is not unduly harmed, even if the scheme does not apply, the Gard may be able to assist your legal representative in securing the application of the Probation of offenders Act Sec 1.1 which would mean that no Criminal conviction would be recorded against you.If you get or already have legal representation he will advise you in relation to these matters if the matter is taken further.i would tend to sit tight and wait to see how matter is dealt with. The Adult Caution scheme is a decision made at the discretion of the Garda not usually influenced by representations made by you.I hope this is of assistance. Kind regards John

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