The decision to prosecute is a serious one. It can have a lasting effect on both the victim of the crime and the accused person. Only the DPP or one of our lawyers may decide whether or not to prosecute in serious cases – for example, murder, sexual offences or fatal road accidents.
The Gardaí may decide to prosecute in less serious crimes. However, the prosecution is still taken in the name of the DPP, and the DPP has the right to tell the Gardaí how to deal with the case.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions acts independently when deciding whether or not to prosecute. This means that no other person – not even the Government – can tell us whether or not to prosecute a case.