A Simple Guide to Criminal Proceedings in the UAE

Filing a Complaint kicks off with the victim filing a detailed complaint. The complaint must outline the offense information along with the relevant details. The need to explain the series of events leading up to it. This is called a foundational document that is compulsory. It must include comprehensive details regarding the incident, the location, time, and individual involvement in the incident or case. You can also find top Lawyers here from top Law Firms with expertise in Criminal Law.

The Investigation Process will begin only after the complaint is registered. After the complaint, the police will take on the investigation. The police initiate the investigation by interrogating all the events. Moreover, the law allows the extraction of such statements whenever required. It is essential to gather information about the events and their perpetrators. 

In serious criminal cases, immediate action is much needed. It initiates the investigations taken at the scene. Following this, the authorities might examine the physical evidence, document the environment, and collect all the given statements. Furthermore, Judicial officers are also involved in the case. They have the authority to make detention and arrests when needed. 

They also prevent interference with the crime scene. Over time, the investigation unfolds in layers. It is often done by collaborating with various judicial and executive bodies in the UAE. In case of the criminal nature of the proceedings, the Criminal Procedures Law will be applicable. It empowers the concerned authorities to communicate with relevant entities. They might interact with entities including the armed forces, immigration officers, and others. The data is extracted from relevant sources to build a solid case. 

Once the report is ready, it is forwarded to the public prosecution. It is sent to public prosecution within the duration of 48 hours. They will be representing public rights and interests. Besides, the public prosecution will review the report within 24 hours to determine the crime. It is done according to the UAE Penal Code.

The crime can be divided into different categories including felonies, misdemeanors, or infractions. Felonies are highly serious crimes. It involves severe penalties and punitive measures. It may include lengthy imprisonment, jail sentences, or even death. Some of the examples of felonies are man-slaughtering, rape, kidnapping, treason, and much more.

Misdemeanors refer to minor offenses

Such offenses are punishable. The fines or imprisonment is imposed as a result. It often involves the concept of blood money (Diya/Diyat). For instance, involuntary manslaughter may require payment of a specified amount. There is a subject to adjustment. Infractions refer to the Lesser criminal activities. It does involve violations of the Penal Code applicable in the UAE. There are a range of Penalties for it. 

It may include detentions from 24 hours to a maximum of 10 days. Some fines are also attached to it that must not exceed AED 5,000. Now it is time to move towards the Court Proceedings. Once the crime is categorized, the case is shifted to court. 

Nevertheless, a case is built with sufficient facts and evidence only before it moves to the UAE Courts. The court of First Instance is where the case lands. This court handles the first level of litigation. They handle a variety of cases. The hearings take place where both sides present their perspectives. The court delivers a judgment following the events, shreds of evidence, compliance with law, and much more. The appeals can follow in case either party is not satisfied. It will reach to Appeal Court.

Both parties have the right to consult an Attorney. In case, if the accused lacks access or means to hire an attorney, the court provides them with the services. For this, the court will first assess the person’s financial status and standing. Legal Representation is of utmost importance in criminal proceedings in the UAE. To initiate a criminal case involves filing a complaint and navigating a complex legal process.

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 A Proficient and well-prepared legal representation will assist in ensuring a fair and free trial. He will understand the nature of the case, conduct investigations, handle the communications, and provide the evidence to the court. They will prepare a sound strategy to construct a strong defense. Ultimately, this will lead to a transparent and just outcome throughout the whole legal journey. 


Kindly consult the Advocates before proceeding. Authors will not take any responsibility.

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