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Criminal Procedures

Read below the highlights on UAE Federal Law No. 17 of 2018 amending some provisions of the code of Criminal Procedures promulgated by the Federal Law No. 35 of 1992

His Majesty The President of the United Arab Emirates State, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued a Federal Law Decree amending some sections of the Code of Criminal Procedures. One of these changes is the addition of a third chapter to the law’s fifth section, named “Special Criminal Proceedings,” which includes 53 articles and three chapters on criminal reconciliation, electronic monitoring, and criminal order.

Criminal order in accordance with the new Criminal Procedures

Is a judicial order issued by a member of the public prosecution in crimes of misdemeanors and offenses punishable by imprisonment or fine. This order is valid even without investigation or in absence of the accused person. As a result of this order is the termination of the dispute, unless the accused initiates an objection within seven days from the date of issue if he was present, or as of his publication if he was absent or after its amendment. The objection entails considering the criminal order as if it did not exist, and proceeding in the case shall be in accordance with the procedures prescribed in this law.

Application of the criminal order provisions excludes (Crimes of limits set By God, retaliation and wergild – crimes against the security and interests of the state – crimes of influence in judiciary and abuse of its reputation, and disruption of existing procedures – offenses stipulated in Law No. (9) of 1976 on juveniles and delinquents – crimes that law do not allow application of penalty prescribed for – crimes punished under the law by the measure of deportation).

A member of the Public Prosecution appointed by the Public Prosecutor for misdemeanors and misdemeanors shall be entitled to issue a criminal order to inflict the fine prescribed by law with not more than the half of it.

It should be noted that the president of the prosecution may amend or annul the criminal order within (7) days from the date of its issuance. the public prosecutor is also entitled with the same within 30 days from the issuance of the order or its amendment or from the date of the accused’s waiver of his objection, even if it has been executed. The public prosecutor may also at his own discretion or at the request of the accused, issue an order to the accused to perform the social service measure instead of the criminal order issued by the fine.

The decree provides protection of the Plaintiff’s rights in civil right. Issuance of the criminal order does not prevent the Plaintiff in civil right from going to the Civil Court to claim his rights and no stare decisis for what had been ruled before the Civil Courts. With reference to the fact that the criminal order is not considered as judicial precedent requiring rehabilitation.

Criminal reconciliation in accordance with the new criminal procedures

Is an agreement between the victim or his attorney or his heir or their attorney and the accused to terminate the dispute in criminal matters amicably and, the result of which is the expiry of the criminal case or the suspension of execution if the verdict was issued. The legislator has limited the crimes that may be resolved in misdemeanors and offenses:

(Alimony, nursery and custody costs, and housing) – assaulting the safety of the body of others and disability exceeding 20 days – whoever error caused prejudice to the safety of the body of others – whoever threats others by committing a felony against himself or his property or against selves or property of others or by things offending honor or consideration or disclosing it – whoever threats others by expressions or by acts or by signs or by another person – slander and defamation – whoever insults others in one of the public ways, in which offends his honor and consideration without including a specific incident – slander or defamation by telephone or in the presence of the victim and in the presence of others – Assault on private life overhearing and imaging – Disclosing secrets by profession or craftsmanship – Copy and distribution to third parties the content of a communication, message, information, data or other information that one has been aware of by the occasion of his work – Unauthorized use of a car or motorcycle – Eat or drink in a shop and occupy a hotel room or rent a rental vehicle and refrain from paying – Giving a check without funds for payment and in bad faith – postal discount authorizations – Dishonesty – The seizure with intention to own a lost property owned by another person or a property that has been seized by error or by force majeure with being aware of it – Embezzlement – Fraud – Demolition and destruction of property owned by others – Cut, uproot and destroy trees – Intentional killing or beating of an animal or cattle in a water supply or basin – Damage, transfer or removal of an enclosure or mark designed to adjust areas or settle land to determine boundaries between properties – Intentionally killing or physically beating an animal or bird – injuring animal or cattle owned by others – Entry to an habited place or prepared for housing or to any of its subsidiaries or store to save money or property contrary to the management of the person concerned.

A penal reconciliation may be instituted in any case pending even after the judgment has been rendered, in accordance with a transcript certified by the Competent Notary Public, the Public Prosecutor may suggest reconciliation if the victim or his heirs did not initiate the reconciliation with the accused before this later is being brought before the Court within a period of (15) days that may be extended for a similar period and no effect to the reconciliation on the victim rights, unless waived or covered by the minutes of reconciliation.

Maher Mahmoud Al Khalaf

Jouslin Khairallah

Founder & Managing Director

Jouslin Khairallah is the Founder & Managing Director of Khairallah Advocates and Legal Consultants. She’s one of the top lawyers in Dubai. 

+971 4 427 0845

Subject to electronic surveillance according to the new criminal procedures.

Is to deprive the accused or the convicted person of absenteeism in the time specified for him, from his place of residence or any other place concerned by the order issued by the Public Prosecution or by the Special Court, as the case may be, and shall be executed by electronic means which allow remote monitoring, by obliging the subject to wear an integrated electronic transmitter device, throughout the period of being subject to electronic monitoring. It should be noted that when determining periods and places provided for, it is to be considered, the convicted person’s practice of a professional or artisanal activity or follow-up of education or vocational training, or receiving treatment or any circumstances which the Public Prosecution or the Competent Court may consider.

Are excluded of electronic monitoring crimes punishable by death, life imprisonment, crimes against the security of the State or crimes in which the law requires the deportation measure.

The electronic monitoring period is (30) days after the accused has been interrogated and may be renewed for one time with the consent of the accused. If further periods are required, the Public Prosecution shall present papers to a judge of the Competent Criminal Court to issue the order after reviewing the papers and hearing the accused’s statements, and his consent to extend electronic monitoring period or its annulment, and his preventive detention or release by warranty or without warranty.

The Public Prosecution may revoke electronic monitoring order and issue an arrest and preventive detention warrant in the event that evidences are strengthened against the accused, or in case the accused has violated his obligations, or has requested the annulment of the electronic monitoring by preventive detention.

During deliberation on the request of extension of the preventive detention period, the judge of the Competent Criminal Court may also order to place the accused temporary under electronic monitoring after his consent, instead of his preventive detention.

The law has authorized the Court, when serving a sentence of imprisonment for a period of not more than two years, to order upon ruling on its execution, the electronic monitoring system, if it considers on the basis of the circumstances of the convicted person or his age, which leads to the belief that he will not return to committing another new crime and that he has a permanent and known residence in the state, and if the Court has established that he is engaged in a stable professional activity, whether temporary or following up his educational activity or vocational training, or as the sole breadwinner of the family or any circumstances considered by the Court, provided that the convicted person is not a convicted felon – repeated crime – the convicted person shall notice to the public prosecution any change in his function or place of his residence or upon his desire to move from his place of residence determined to him for more than (15) days within the state and the reasons thereof and also shall notice the Public Prosecution upon his return, and shall receive periodic police visits in order to verify his means of living and commitment to his obligations. He shall not be entitled to leave the country prior to the Court’s authorization and the Public Prosecution discretion. The authorization shall specify the date, destination, reason, date of return and his obligation to notify the Public Prosecution immediately upon his return and his stay abroad shall not be counted in this case, within execution period of the sentence.

You can get legal advice about criminal procedures from our lawyers in the UAE to help you resolve your case.

Annulment of the electronic monitoring order shall raise in four cases

  1. If during execution of the electronic monitoring, the convicted person has already been sentenced in absentia to a custodial penalty, and the Court was unaware of the that verdict when it has sentenced him to electronic monitoring.
  2. If the medical report proves that the means used in electronic monitoring harm health or body of the convicted person.
  3. If the convicted person himself requested it.
  4. If it is impossible to execute electronic monitoring.

The order to be placed under electronic monitoring may be annulled in two cases

  1. If the convicted person has committed a deliberate crime during period of penalty execution, to which he was sentenced to a preventive detention or sentenced to a custodial penalty.
  2. Periodic follow-up reports showed that the convicted person misconduct or non-compliance with measures and obligations imposed on him.

The rule of annulment in the four cases referred to, is final and not subject to cassation. However, in the latter two cases, they may be challenged by the manner of objection if the judgements are in absentia.

The law has also allowed every convicted person to a custodial penalty of not less than two years and not more than five years and has served half of the sentence, to request from the Public Prosecution to be released and to be subject of electronic monitoring for the rest of the sentence. The Public Prosecution shall investigate upon such request to ascertain the good conduct of the convicted person while being in penitentiary, which calls for confidence in self-evaluation and absence of a danger to public security as a result of his release. The Court may rule on the acceptance of the request and its judgment shall be final and not subject to cassation. If it rejects the application, a new application may not be submitted at least six months before the date of the rejection of the previous application.

FAQ about Criminal Procedures in the UAE

1-What are criminal cases in UAE?

  • Petty crimes and other small infractions are known as misdemeanours.
  • Contrarily, a felony is a serious offence that carries a sentence of imprisonment of at least one year.
  • Minor defendants are involved in juvenile offences.
  • Death or life in prison are the penalties for capital crimes.

2-What are the 5 stages of a criminal case?

The first five (5) fundamental steps in a criminal case are:

  • Arrest.
  • hearing before judgement.
  • probe by a grand jury.
  • Criminal court arraignment
  • a jury trial

3-What is first order in criminal case?

P.C. At this point, the accused is being heard by the court for the first time, and all the testimony from the witnesses who have testified against him is being presented to him as a series of questions and answers.

Finally, the electronic monitoring provisions shall enter into force after six months from issuance of the decree unless the Council of Ministers issues a decision to extend it for other periods on the basis of a proposal by the Minister of the Interior.

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