Even though law enforcers appreciate United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizens’ duty to report any crimes they become aware of, the law highly discourages fake reporting. Besides the risk of penalizing an innocent person, filing a wrong complaint mislead relevant authorities and waste state resources.
A false accusation can be defined as the wrongfully caused suspicion or that of a crime committed by a person which is not true. Unlike most countries, UAE has stringent laws governing wrong or false complaints and the penalties for a false accusation are severe. False claims in UAE courts are punishable by imprisonment, penalty, and even fine.
Generally, people file fake police reports for various reasons, including some common types of false accusations:
- To mislead and confuse investigators by filing a complaint framing someone else for their committed crime.
- To harm another person’s reputation by filing a complaint out of malice.
- To mislead the court to award them damages in a civil case or to mislead insurers.
Filing a Wrong Police Complaint or False Accusations in the UAE
While filing wrong or false complaints with the police generally falls under false accusations, other forms of false accusations do not necessarily involve filing a fake police report. For instance, an individual can make false allegations in public or online to harm another’s reputation.
Like false complaints, these forms of false accusation are illegal in the UAE, with the courts primarily prosecuting them as defamation under UAE Penal Code. However, there are also some instances where it is hard for authorities to determine whether allegations are true or false. The law describes such allegations as unsubstantiated or unfounded and is different from false allegations.
However, accusations or allegations the law determines as false falls into three categories, including:
- Allegations that are entirely false as the reported events did not occur.
- Allegations that describe events that did occur, but where someone else and not the accused individual committed the actions. Essentially, accusations where the accused is innocent.
- Allegations where the complainant mixes descriptions of events that did occur with others that did not occur. Generally, the allegations are partially true and partially false.
Typically, filing a false police complaint involves a complainant deliberately giving incorrect information to mislead investigators or harm innocent people.
Legal Consequences of Filing a False Complaint in the UAE
Regardless of an individual’s reasons for filing a wrong or false police complaint, one risks severe legal consequences, including imprisonment and fines. False accusation law in UAE outlines some punishments or charges for false complaints.
Punishment For Fake Claims & False Allegations in UAE Court
- According to Article 266 of the UAE Federal Penal Code, a person who deliberately gives false information regarding a crime will face a detention sentence as punishment.
- According to Article 275 of the Penal Code, anyone who reports a crime they know does not exist or never occurred will serve a prison sentence not exceeding six months and/or pay a fine of not more than AED 3,000 (three thousand dirhams).
- According to Article 276, a person who falsely and in bad faith files a false report will be sentenced to detention or be liable to pay a fine.
- The law will also hold anyone who files a fake police report liable for slander and defamation charges.
- According to Article 63 of the Penal Code, a law enforcement officer who investigates a false accusation is not guilty of a crime. Essentially, the law protects police officers who investigate false allegations from prosecution or lawsuits.
- The UAE Penal Code allows a wrongfully accused person to file a separate criminal complaint against the person who filed the false complaint against them.
- Anyone who fabricates any material evidence to falsely and knowingly accuse an innocent person will be liable to detention or a fine. Where the false accusation leads to a felony penalty, the person who makes the false accusation is liable to a similar sentence. Typically, they will face the punishment the accused person would have faced.
While the UAE encourages its citizens to report any crimes they witness to the relevant authorities; it severely punishes anyone who deliberately files a wrong or false complaint. Generally, the UAE Federal Penal Code insists on criminal prosecutions based on certainty and not on speculation. With the potential of penalizing an innocent person, misleading the police, and wasting state resources, filing a wrong or false complaint in the UAE is a serious crime. Unless an individual can prove they did not deliberately make the false complaint, they risk conviction.
A false accusation is a serious crime in UAE. It can lead to years of imprisonment and deportation. If you are facing a false accusation in Dubai or any other emirate, immediately seek the advice of a lawyer. While a skilled criminal lawyer can help prove your innocence, you should always be cautious not to file wrong or false complaints while reporting a crime.
We provide expert advocate and legal counsel services across the UAE, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, Fujairah, RAK, and Umm al Quwain. If you are facing criminal charges in Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE, you can rely on our skilled and experienced Emirati criminal lawyers in Dubai to defend you in court.