5 Facts Everyone Should Know About UAE Criminal Law!

Posted by Professionallawyer on December 23rd, 2021

Compared to the crime rates from most other countries, the United Arab Emirates’ is considerably low. That is attributed to the strict laws governing a wide range of actions. Having some knowledge about UAE criminal law is a good way to avoid getting into trouble and facing litigation. Here are some facts you should know about it:

1. Many laws are based on Sharia law

Like many countries in the Middle East, the UAE has the death penalty for serious crimes, such as treason, rape, and murder. Drug trafficking is also included.

Cross-dressing, adultery, homosexuality, and common law relationships are subject to severe punishment, such as deportation and imprisonment. Muslim travelers who are found guilty are likely to face corporal punishment.

2. Different from western laws

As you get to know UAE criminal law, you’re likely to notice that its system is significantly different from most of the western countries. For instance, in the UAE, there is no trial by jury, there is no bond system, and depositions are taken without the presence of a lawyer.

3. Arrest and detention procedures

The recommendation or initial investigation for arrest involves filing a complaint by an organization, government authority, or individual at a police station, unless the suspect is arrested while committing the crime. An accused may be asked to provide a statement or discuss the issue if involved in any financial offenses and non-violent crimes. A lawyer can be present, but this is not permitted during deposition. At this point, the suspect can be detained legally for 48 hours. After transferring to public prosecution, they can be under custody for 24 hours before a formal investigation starts. UAE criminal law permits the prosecutor to extend detention for up to 14 days in total, and the court can extend up to 30-day period.

4. Court procedures are in Arabic

Likewise, all statements must be translated into Arabic. The courts and public prosecutor will provide a sworn translation. Cases are heard in a closed setting in the presence of a judge. Only the defense and legal prosecution, the victims or parties to the case, defendant, and expert witnesses may be present in the chambers. Legal guardians or parents may attend if minors are involved.

5. Trial and sentencing

 The duration of a trial will vary, without limits. Punishments under UAE criminal law are either Sharia-based or Chastisement.

If you are not sure about what is treated as criminal behavior in the UAE, you might want to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. You should do the same if you are dealing with a criminal charge and you need effective and reliable representation to prevent severe punishment.

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