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  • 07-02-2023 12:51pm
    Registered Users Posts: 14


    Post edited by JackPlanets on


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,085 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    They need a solicitor. Wear a suit on the day.

    If they aren't found to have done it, then they just have to pay the solicitor.

    If they are found to have done it and compensation is paid, they might get the benefit of the Probation Act (no conviction) or the possibility of a fine. Prison is unlikely. Being candid with the judge, motivations and demeanour will be important.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 JackPlanets


    Post edited by JackPlanets on

  • Registered Users Posts: 306 ✭✭john jameson

    Does the offender have to plead guilty to the crime in order to receive the probation act??

    If the offender pleads not guilty and the judge finds that indeed they are can they still recieve the probation act???

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,085 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    There may be a word(s) missing from your second sentence. If the offender is found not guilty, the Probation Act doesn't apply.

    If the judge finds them not guilty, but thinks shenanigans have gone on, there may be stern words, but they can't be punished. Again, the Probation Act doesn't apply.

    I think the defendant can receive the benefit of the Probation Act whatever way they plead. The judge's thinking will be along the lines of "Will justice be served if this person is convicted?" In petty theft, minor assault or minor criminal damage cases, the judge may come to the conclusion that the answer is "No" when dealing with, say, a contrite defendant who has paid compensation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 306 ✭✭john jameson

    I may be wrong so please correct me as I'm not to familiar with the procedure.

    My understanding is that when you receive your summonses to attend court you get your solicitor.

    You attend court with your solicitor and is it at that point that you declare your intent to plead guilty or not guilty??? The solicitor will request time to gather all the edivance agenst the defendant.

    My questions was and I think you have answered it ...if I plead not guilty to the minor offence and the judge finds that I am guilty can he or would he show leniency by giving probation instead of imposing a conviction or some other form of punishment.... For minor crime are judges not in favour of giving first time offenders convictions or comming down to hard on them if they have a clean background ! No previous and full time employed with young dependents to care for.

    If he is in two minds over the guilt of the offender could he give the " benefit of the doubt "

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  • Registered Users Posts: 39,681 ✭✭✭✭ohnonotgmail

    If they are in two minds over the guilt of the offender then they will find them not guilty. you can get the probation act if you plead not guilty but found guilty but judges are more likely to be lenient if you plead guilty, for obvious reasons.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 JackPlanets

    The judge has to be confident beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty. Just thinking it or being pretty sure isn't enough.

    A good recent example is of a guy cleared of criminal damage to a book of condolences in a Garda station. They had CCTV of him standing near the book and a Garda saw him and his friend walking away from the book laughing and sniggering. But the Judge couldn't be 100% sure that he was the person who had written offensive stuff in it so had to strike out the charge.

  • Registered Users Posts: 306 ✭✭john jameson

    Shocking behaviour by anyone to ruin a book of condolences!!

    Some one I know very well is accused of thieft!

    He was in a shop a few weeks back and in line for the till. The 2 people ahead of him finished up they're busness and moved on and as he was getting change for a bday card the guy behind him prompted him to cash that lay at his feet!

    He looked down to see 150euro in cash and assumed it must have fallen from his Jean's as he does carry some cash from time to time !

    He picked it up and walked out of the shop .... he said to me that he discussed it with the missus in the car what happened but as he wasnt sure it was his he put it in the glove box of the car to deal with it later but of course taught no more on it till a cop called to his house to confirm his identity! As he wasnt home at the time he was informed by his wife and he made a successful attempt to contact the garda and asked if he could give the money to him but the garda told him that it was being dealt with by another station and that garda would contact him tomorrow.

    He received a call the next morning and arranged to meet the garda at the barracks he handed over the cash and explained how he had just picked it up assuming that he may be the owner ! But as he had gone to a pass machine moments earlier in that shop to get cash for the birthday card the garda didnt seen to believe he had any in the first place and also informed him that because a statement was made when the cash was reported missing and my buddy had not contacted the shop over the course of a week the investigating garda used CCTV to retrieve the licence plate of the car so the whole event had now escalated to criminal!! To say he was stunned by this was an understatement and he was cautioned along with his statement taken!

    He tried to explain that he did not see the money fall or even on the ground before it was brought to his attention by the guy behind him who must not have seen it fall either as if my buddy did see it fall he would most certainly be letting them know of it!!

    Anyway the garda informed him of two possible out comes

    1 he may be given an Adults caution

    2 he refuses to take that and fights his case in court!.

    He does not want to be labelled a thief and I know this gent is as straight as they come but with all that was going on in his life that weekend and week before the garda called he had not dealt with it properly he knows he should have sorted it sooner but as he has being calling to that particular shop for years he said to me that it was his intention to mention it in the shop and ask if it was reported lost on his next journey through the town. The money was still in the car hadn't touched it since it was picked up from the floor.

    He is worried that if he goes to court that no one will believe his intention to return it giving the fact that he said in his statement that he went back in to the shop the second time to use the pass machine to get some cash and aswell that it took a week to get it back to owner when garda came calling !!

    He is in the process of getting on to solicitors for some advice on the matter and hopes to have a good idea of what way is best to now deal with the shite situation he finds himself in!!

    He has no previous and is in full time employment with 2 dependents and has not been in a situation like this before !

    I do feel for him and I know there was no intention to keep money from anyone !

    In his minds eye he said that when he went to meet with the investigating garda he taught that he would be handing over the money and giving a description of how he came to have it and why it took so long to get it back and that that would be the end of the saga but unfortunately not!! I suppose he will just have to see what advice he can get next week and go from there.

    I know he has no correspondence from the garda as yet he was informed it will take a cuple of weeks maybe before he hears back as more statements had yet to be gathered .

    He is hoping that after the return of the money that the case agenst him may go no further and a valuable lesson learnt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,818 ✭✭✭✭Esel

    ^ TL/DR

    Not your ornery onager

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 JackPlanets

    His best bet is to just wait and see what the Gardaí come back with. They might decide there is not enough to charge him.

    It sounds like a big misunderstanding but to be honest it might just be best to take a caution in this case if it is offered as he has admitted to taking the money. I suppose the one thing would be that when he used the ATM how much did he take out? If he took out a similar amount of cash then it'd be very easy to say he just assumed it had fallen out of his pocket.

    A caution would only be known to himself, the Gardaí and the person who is the injured party (person who lost the money). Nobody else would know. Although even if it went to court the chances of it being in the papers or reported on are incredibly low. District Court cases and decisions are not published or available publicly anywhere apart from the lsit is posted each morning in the courthouse lobby. If it went to a hearing I'd say there's a decent chance the judge would strike it out, especially considering the money has been repaid but you just never know. District Court can be unpredictable. He won't be going to jail anyway.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 306 ✭✭john jameson

    Apologies for the slow reply.

    He appreciated your view on the matter and still cant believe that it has escalated this much!

    Its difficult to know what direction to go

    Chance court or take caution !!

    Caution would be the handiest way to put it all behind him and move on!!

    He is still waiting to hear back from the guards, does it normally take so long he has being thinking on this for the last month now !