How to file a criminal case in Dubai

The criminal law of Dubai is hugely based on Sharia Law, which is the religious law and moral code of Islam. Cases concerning sexuality, marriage, crimes, gambling, dress codes and other matters come are dealt with under Sharia law. Even if the lawbreakers are non-Muslims or foreigners, the application of Sharia law prevails. It is always advisable to know the basics of the criminal law of Dubai, especially if you are accused of a crime or want to file a case against a wrongdoer. You should also know that the criminal law here is not very lenient and the associated procedures are tedious which is why you should also get help from the criminal lawyers in Dubai to win your case. 

In this article, we will be discussing the various aspects of criminal law in Dubai and how to deal with a criminal case.

How to file a criminal case in Dubai?

As far as the victim to criminal activity is concerned, his/her first act would be to approach a lawyer in Dubai. As per the lawyer’s instruction, the victim will register a complaint against the accused in the nearest police station. The complaint should have all the details regarding the incident as a sequence of events. The complaint can be an oral or written one and it will be recorded by the officer in Arabic. Eventually, the recorded complaint should be signed by the victim. However, make sure you register the complaint at the nearest police station. If the case does not fall in the area of jurisdiction pertaining to the particular police station, the officers may not accept your complaint.

The complainant need not give any legal fees or court fees for registering a complaint in the nearest police station against the accused. However, if you are taking the services of a lawyer or law firm in Dubai, you will have to pay the attorney fees.

Once the complaint is registered, the police will assess the complaint and compare it with the provided documents and evidence they have. After which they start their investigation. The police also draft a report which is handed over to the public prosecutor. The public prosecutor then investigates to confirm the genuineness of the case and then prepares a report based on his findings. If the accused is actually found guilty as a result of the aforementioned investigation, the file will be forwarded to the Criminal Court. If the case is not found to be genuine, the complaint will be rejected. These proceedings are based on Federal Law Number 3 of 1987 as per the UAE Penal Code. 

After receiving the file, the court can either pass the judgment directly or give a chance for the accused to defend themselves. The accused can take assistance from criminal lawyers in Dubai for this purpose.

Is it mandatory for the accused or the victim to attend the court hearings?

Upon the registration of a criminal complaint and its acceptance by the public prosecutor, the victim need not necessarily attend the court proceedings in Dubai. The victim can send his/her lawyer or legal representatives to take part in the hearing. However, the accused ought to be personally present in the court, especially if the punishment involves imprisonment.

Is it possible to file an appeal in criminal cases?

If the accused is not satisfied with the judgment of the Court of First Instance, they can file an appeal before the Court of Appeal. If the same condition repeats, they can eventually file an appeal in the Court of Cassation against the decision of the Appeal Court. The accused is granted 15 days time period from the date of reception of judgment from the Court of First Instance to file an appeal and 30 days time to file an appeal against the decision of the Appeal Court in the Court of Cassation. However, the victim cannot file an appeal against the decision of any lower court because after accepting the appeal, the public prosecutor will represent the case on behalf of the plaintiff. The prosecutor also has the right to file an appeal if disappointed by any decision.

Winding Up

As mentioned earlier, the procedures associated with criminal cases in Dubai are quite long and cumbersome. You need to have a peripheral knowledge of how the system of criminal law works in Dubai and above all, you must take legal advice and assistance from top criminal lawyers in Dubai. You need to avoid all possibilities of flaws in your case and find the loopholes in the opponent’s side to win the case and for that purpose, you do need help from the best criminal lawyers in Dubai.

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