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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 11348
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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What will happen if not all of the essential elements in

Customer Question

What will happen if not all of the essential elements in drink driving offense was not alleged in the summon charge? Like the summon charge did not allege the ground why the vehicle was stopped. Can the judge convict the accused?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

Hello, and thank you for your question. I am your Expert and I will provide the answer you require.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

1. The first thing you need to realise is that the statement of offence contained in a Summons is merely a summary of the offence sufficient to identify it. There is no need to include all the elements of an offence in the statement of offence in the Summons. Instead, the prosecuting Garda will provide details of items such as the grounds upon which the vehicle was stopped when giving evidence in court. So, you are incorrect to think the Court will strike out a Summons based on the fact it doesn't include all element of an offence. The judge will still convict an accused of an offence, even if the Summons is in short form, provided the prosecuting Garda provides elements of the offence when giving the prosecuting evidence in court.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

2. If you have been accused and prosecuted of a drink driving offence, you should get yourself a solicitor experienced in Road Traffic offences and get them to represent you in court. Look in your local paper to see who does the drink driving prosecutions for the defence. Ultimately, it will mean you will avoid issues such as not understanding what is going on and having false ideas of what is required of a Summons. Be aware that there is a two year mandatory ban for conviction of drink driving. However, the conviction rate is only 70% of prosecutions. So, you still have good odds of avoiding a conviction.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
When I pleaded not guilty to the summon it is that what was written in the summon that the prosecution should prove, nothing else, otherwise, the right to fair trial, the right to be informed of the nature of the offense, enshrined in the constitution is violated, and that there being no allegation in the summon as to the ground on why the car was stopped, there is no basis to introduce such evidence, the prosecution cannot present evidence that are not alleged in the summon.