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Dubai Criminal Case: Your Guide to Defense Strategies

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Exploring Various Aspects of Dubai Criminal Case

Within the legal framework of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), criminal law governs offenses and their corresponding regulations. This encompasses a spectrum of functions, including the apprehension and charging of suspects, trial proceedings, determination of penalties, issuance of judgments, and establishment of conditions for appellate processes in higher courts. Oversight of Dubai Criminal Case falls under the purview of the public prosecution department, an integral component of the judicial system. This department is tasked with prosecuting individuals or entities accused of engaging in unlawful activities. The procedures governing criminal cases in Dubai are delineated in Federal Law No. 35 of 1992, which has undergone subsequent amendments over time.

Contrary to prevailing misconceptions, the UAE’s penal code is not exclusively derived from Islamic Sharia law. Nonetheless, it incorporates numerous principles and tenets from Sharia law, albeit with certain modifications. Many Sharia-based penalties have been suspended by individual Emirates, except for certain aspects such as the payment of blood money. Other Sharia punishments have been supplanted by incarceration terms. Dubai Criminal Case is typically categorized as offenses committed against society or the state. While the definition of a crime remains consistent across jurisdictions, the procedural aspects and penalties may vary among different territories.

Here are five prevalent categories of Dubai Criminal Case encountered:

Petty Offenses:

These encompass minor infractions or misdemeanors, often resulting in punitive measures such as fines or imprisonment not exceeding one year in local correctional facilities. Examples of misdemeanors include petty theft, driving under the influence of alcohol, and possession of alcohol without a license.

Serious Crimes:

These comprise significant transgressions that warrant harsher penalties, including extended periods of incarceration. In rare instances, capital punishment may be imposed. Offenses categorized as serious crimes include rape, kidnapping, manslaughter, drug trafficking, and treason.

Juvenile Offenses:

As the term suggests, these offenses are committed by minors (individuals under the age of 18). The public prosecution tends to adopt a more lenient approach towards juvenile offenders, taking into account factors such as their age and educational background. The Federal Law 9 of 1976, commonly known as the Juvenile Delinquents and Vagrants Act, safeguards the rights of minors during preliminary investigations. Juvenile cases are adjudicated in specialized facilities, with measures in place to protect the privacy of young offenders.

Capital Offenses:

These constitute grave transgressions that carry penalties ranging from life imprisonment to the death penalty. Capital crimes typically involve premeditated acts or intent to cause harm. Executions are carried out through methods such as firing squad or hanging.

Regulatory Violations:

Contraventions refer to acts of non-compliance punishable under the UAE penal code. Penalties for regulatory violations may entail brief periods of detention, lasting up to 10 days, and fines not exceeding AED 5,000. Such offenses typically do not necessitate a full-fledged trial.

Illustrative Example of a Dubai Criminal Case

To elucidate the workings of the criminal justice system, we present a recent legal matter handled by Al Tamimi about a case involving defamation under UAE law.

Dubai Criminal Case Background:

By UAE legislation, an individual can face criminal charges for defamation, encompassing libel and slander, as outlined in Articles 371 to 380 of the UAE Penal Code (Federal Law No. 3 of 1987).

Additionally, the victim retains the right to pursue a civil claim for damages arising from defamatory actions, under Articles 282 to 298 of the UAE Civil Code (Federal Law No. 5 of 1985).

While it is feasible to initiate a civil claim for defamation without securing a criminal conviction, establishing such a claim can be challenging, and a criminal conviction often serves as compelling evidence in support of the civil action.

Unlike civil proceedings, criminal complaints for defamation in the UAE do not necessitate the demonstration of financial losses by the plaintiff.

However, to substantiate a civil claim for damages, the plaintiff must provide evidence of financial harm directly resulting from the defamatory statements.

The Dubai Criminal Case:

Al Tamimi & Company successfully represented a company (referred to as the “Plaintiff”) in a legal dispute against a former employee (referred to as the “Accused” or the “Defendant”) for defamatory actions against Plaintiff and its management through email communications.

Dubai Criminal Case – The Allegations:

In February 2014, the Plaintiff lodged a criminal complaint with the Dubai police against its former employee, alleging defamatory and derogatory statements made via emails sent to the Plaintiff, its employees, and other members of the public.

Subsequent Proceedings:

The police referred the complaint to the public prosecution for examination.

In March 2014, following its review, the Public Prosecution determined that the Defendant’s actions constituted a violation of Articles 1, 20, and 42 of the UAE Cyber Crimes Law (Federal Law No. 5 of 2012) and transferred the case to the Misdemeanor court.

Articles 20 and 42 of the Cyber Crimes Law stipulate penalties, including imprisonment and fines ranging from AED 250,000 to 500,000, for individuals who insult or attribute punishable acts to others via electronic means.

Judicial Findings:

In June 2014, the Court of First Instance found Defendant guilty of making defamatory statements against Plaintiff through electronic communication (emails), deeming such statements as likely to subject Plaintiff to contempt.

The First Instance Court imposed a fine of AED 300,000 on the Defendant and ordered his deportation from the UAE. Additionally, the court ruled in favor of the Plaintiff’s civil claim, which had been concurrently filed during the criminal proceedings.

Appeals and Final Judgment:

The Defendant contested the lower court’s decision before the Appeal Court, which upheld the initial judgment in September 2014.

Further challenging the verdict, the Defendant appealed to the Court of Cassation in October 2014, alleging legal misinterpretation, inadequate causation, and infringement of his rights. The Defendant claimed that his statements were made in good faith and without intent to harm the Plaintiff’s reputation.

However, the Cassation Court dismissed the Defendant’s arguments, affirming the Appeal Court’s ruling and rejecting the assertion of good faith in publishing the statements.


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