5 Types of Criminal Law Cases in Dubai and How a Lawyer Can Help You

Types of Criminal Law Cases in Dubai and How a Lawyer Can Help You

In the UAE, criminal cases are handled by the public prosecution department. These departments are responsible for prosecuting criminal cases against individuals or companies that have been accused of illegal dealings.  The following is an overview of the 5 most common types of criminal law cases in Dubai and how a lawyer can help you with your case.

Reporting a crime to the police is now easy in the UAE.

Criminal law is a branch of law that covers all offenses and crimes committed by an individual against the state. Its purpose is to clearly put a borderline of what is considered unacceptable to the state and society. This is well defined as the rule sets aside the conducts that are allowed and tolerable from those that threaten, endangers, and harm the people. Criminal law also emphasizes the punishments the offended must face.

However, criminal cases must be clearly defined against civil cases. Crimes are offenses against the society or state as a whole. Civil cases are typically disagreements between individuals about legal responsibilities they own each other. Criminal and civil cases also differ in terms of their punishment. Civil cases will only require monetary damages or will be given things to do. On the other hand, criminal cases will require offenders to serve years in prison. It also may require monetary punishments or fines.

Criminal law case

Types of Criminal Law Cases in Dubai

Criminal law cases may differ per offense:  

  1. Misdemeanors are petty crimes and are just minor offenses. A Misdemeanor is punishable by fines or jail time of less than a year in a local prison. Examples of a misdemeanor are petty theft, driving under the influence, minor in possession of alcohol, etc. 
  2. Felonyon the other hand, is a significant crime committed and is punishable by imprisonment for more than a year. Examples of a felony are rape, treason, kidnapping, robbery, murder, and drug trafficking.
  3. Juvenile Crimes involve minor defendants. Since minors are concerned, they are given more lenient punishment considering their age, education and other factors. 
  4. Capital Crimes require a lifetime of imprisonment or death. Murder and rape are examples of capital crimes. Capital crimes presupposed the individual’s intent to kill and involved the act that necessitates the commission of the premeditated act.
  5. Minor crimes are offenses punishable only by imposing fines. Petty crimes need not be filed in court and need not involve a full-blown trial. A minor crime would include: unintentionally causing injury to livestock owned by another. The injury would cause the assailant a fine of 5000 Dirhams.

Here are other examples of crimes that are covered by Criminal Law:

  1. Assault and Battery – this includes harassment, injury and abuse.
  1. Arson – this includes an intentional explosion or starting a fire to damage property. This is mostly punishable by jail time of up to 20 years.
  1. Armed Robbery – robbery, especially when armed, can be punished with serious penalties.
  1. Child Abuse – this is another serious criminal offense. Child abusers can be sentenced to long years in jail
  1. Kidnapping – This criminal law case happens when a person is forcibly taken by other persons and is for ransom. Kidnapping cases get more severe punishment if it involves kidnapping minors and kidnapping during a carjacking.
  1. Hate Crimes – this involves racy acts of violence against someone of a different race, sexual orientation or those with other certain traits.
  1. Man Slaughter  – This is a type of criminal law case where an individual commits unintentional killing or death of a person.

How Can a Lawyer Help You

As stated under Article 4 of the General Provisions of Federal Law No. 35/1992, any person accused of a felony of life imprisonment or death must be assisted by a credible lawyer. If the person could not afford to do so, the court shall appoint one for him.

Generally, the prosecution has the exclusive jurisdiction to carry out the investigation and directs indictments according to the provisions of the law. However, some cases listed in Article 10 of Federal Law No. 35/1992 do not need the prosecutor’s aid, and the complainant may file the action himself or through his legal representative.

It is important to note that, in Dubai or the UAE, the qualified Emirati Advocate must be well versed in Arabic and has the right to an audience; otherwise, seek the help of an interpreter after taking an oath. Noteworthy is the fact the criminal actions expire. Withdrawal or death of the victim would lapse the criminal action.

You will need a UAE lawyer who could help you navigate your way through the criminal justice system for you to get the justice you deserve. For without the assistance of a legal mind, the law will not help the victims who need it the most.

Your legal consultation with us will help us to understand your situation and concerns. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in the UAE, we can help.  

Contact us to schedule a meeting. We have the best criminal lawyers in Dubai or Abu Dhabi to help you out.

Call us now for an Appointment and Meeting at +971506531334 +971558018669

42 thoughts on “5 Types of Criminal Law Cases in Dubai and How a Lawyer Can Help You”

  1. Avatar for mahesha

    This is regarding my husband..he worked for 5 years for s solar hot water company in u.a.e . And he cancelled his employment visa did everything legally and we went back to our country. And he got another job offer from one of his former company competitor.. which hes also in the same field doing solar. So we accepted it and my husband came back to the country in July and he was arrested from the immigration due to a cheque…which we hadn’t any clue what is this cheque. So he was inside for three days and we bailed him out. Now at the moment hes employed and working but we have a criminal case in dubai courts. This cheque is belong to my husband was stolen by the former company boss and he had written 1,20,000 dhs and he says that we owe him this much of money. My husband worked loyalty to the success of this company and we were like family friends. Both family’s had a good internal ship but towards last few months due to insufficient sales and money.(my husband was the only salesman and his target was 1,20,000 per month and everything including bills, salaries depended on him )..my husband’s boss was not in a good mood with us and my husband’s resignation made him very angry and final day he threatened him not to come back and join the same field. But this is a free country and we can work here if we want. And it is not the same product he’s selling now and they are different. Another reason for us to come back was ,the loan we have taken from the bank..We need to finish it. So at the moment we have a criminal case and we have appointed a lawyer to speak on behalf of him…but we are really worried as this cheque signature is similar to my husband which he didnt sign and didnt give his boss. Also this is one of his very old cheque in 2009 or 2010. This clearly shows that he did this purposely to stop my husband entering the country. Because his boss was worried that my husband will catch up his market and will come to a good place in this business and he wanted that police will catch him and he will end up his life in jail. Our lawyer is saying dont worry and he will look after us but for us this is a night mare…we lived in this country for 5 years so peacefully and paid bills and everything on time but now our minds are not free. Please advice us what will happen to my husband. We are in the intention of questioning the person to whom this cheque was written to…my husband’s former company sponsor which my husband had seen only 2 times for 5 years. Please advice me what will happen and what can we do to prevent jail in the courts. Thank you so much.

  2. Avatar for Muhammed Shahid
    Muhammed Shahid

    I need a lawyer in UAE, please provide me your contact details or please contact me in my email id.

  3. Avatar for Kamran Khan


    I had file a case against my former employer. Two weeks ago he came to my residence. As soon i got out from elevator him and his brother started beating me infront of many people.

    I files police report against them, did submit medical report also. Injuries were not severe or visible. But that was a physical assault.

    I have case im Ajman criminal court now, in first date they did not show up. My question is , if court find them guilty of physical offence. What penalty / punishment can go against them? Is it possible if injuries were not severe, court can free them from this case.

    Please reply and guide me.


    Kamran Khan

  4. Avatar for Usman

    My real estate agent is not repaying my security, he also removed my stuff my from apartment without my permission before my contract expired.

    will this come under criminal or civil case, also should i go to a police station or a court

    thanks in advance,

  5. Avatar for Jhan

    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I am writing to ask for an advise. My husband was previously working in Abu Dhabi for almost 5years and he lost his job due to company retrenchment back in 2009 and he would like to go back to UAE to be with me. Unfortunately, he has dues in 3 banks in Abu Dhabi and would like to settle with the banks with his current salary in Doha and how much he can pay on monthly basis. Kindly guide me where to start please. I am afraid to go directly to the police they might catch me since i am his wife or to sign to guarantee or maybe they will caught him in Doha.

    Is it possible also even he is settled to the banks they will put him in jail either Abu Dhabi/ Doha for any punishment against UAE Law? What do you think his case will be?

    Waiting for your advise.


  6. Avatar for zeeshan anjum
    zeeshan anjum

    I have a case on me from a bank and I have received a offer from a company it’s valid for 35 days do I have any chances to finish the case with in this time frame.

  7. Avatar for Lorelie Tuscano
    Lorelie Tuscano

    My brother *Christopher Osera Tuscano) was arrested at abu dhabi airport on last July 10 2015.. (around 10 pm)During he need to exit in the kish for renewal of tourist visa..according to the officer he has a case that’s why he pending his exit in kish.. but my brother he doesn’t know what kind of case is that.. and after he caught by the officers he already surrender at fugaira police station.. as of now my brother is on the jail.. I need to know what is was possible to do to make my brother out of the jail.. pls help me..

    1. Avatar for Sarah

      Need to know more details, how and why, kindly contact us or email us with detail information..

    2. Avatar for Lawrence Lobo
      Lawrence Lobo

      i used to work at bank A and a clients funds were robbed from his account. I had already left the Organization and had been working with bank B for almost a year. I was stopped at Abu Dhabi airport then sent rob dubai, was questioned and released but my passport was held. It has been a year and a half and the case is still being investigated and my passport is still being held. My current organization has also terminated me due to this long-standing case. Though wrongfully and I have even filed a case in the labor court against them.

      My question being, is there something I can do to have this entire case resolved quickly so I can get my passport back. Because currently I am being told to just wait till the investigation finishes and it moves to the public prosecutor so I can request that my passport be released as I am innocent in this entire ordeal.

      Also who can I seek damages from as I have lost my job as well due to this invalid case. I am waiting for the case to clear but I feel I should be compensated for the mental and financial anguish I have faced.

      Kindly advise.

  8. Avatar for PRINCE JOHN

    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I am writing to ask for an advise . my brother in law now in local jail dubai around 3 months now completing . case of drinking alcohol and fight with company camp and he will do some knif injury 2 persons is injured.
    that persons go to hospital and 10 days after discharge now victims is ok . my brother in law and 3 victim is same company working .after fight he going to direct surrender in police station. after court call victims to there all tell we ready for compromise after some paper sighn victims . after we don’t know what happened next procedure please tell what next ? my brother in law visa finish next month. company is agree agin work same job . but court is not call my brother in law still now.
    please advice whats is next…..

    thanks & regards
    prince john

  9. Avatar for Mara sherelle
    Mara sherelle

    Hi! Sir, we need help. My brother was set up with drugs. He’s now in al awir central jail. Tell me, what actions should we take? He did not do it. There is a modus happening in the uae and he’s a victim too. Please, i would love to talk to someone in your office so that i can Explain further. Thank you

    1. Avatar for Sarah

      Hi, Mara… We need to know more, Please call 055 801 8669 and visit us for a free consultancy.

  10. Avatar for Malanie

    Hi good day maam\sir,
    We need help. My cousin arrested last 22-11-2015 cause of alcahol.. We have an upcoming event so he ordered two boxes of redhorse in one of our neighbors. Around 9:30pm they delivered the boxes and after five mins CID came took the 2boxes of alcohol search the whole villa found another two boxes at the second floor and took my cousin with them.. I follow up the case the day before the incident but they said the case is bon bailable. Is there any chance that we can bail him out?

    1. Avatar for Sarah

      Hi Malanie
      Yes bail is possible, where is the case registered? Request you to meet us and give us more details. Thanks

      1. Avatar for Joan

        Hi ms sarah! Just wanna ask about my husband’s case..it’s almost the same case with Malanie, my husband was caught by the CID in front of our villa last dec 30 2015..The CID said he’s selling alcohol becuse they found around 3 to 4 cases of redhorse in the compartment of the car. But he’s not selling any alcohol. He had those alcohol because they’re gonna use it for new year’s celebration. Until now he’s in jail. I dont know what and where to start checking his case because according to police in the jail. Only the sponsor is authorized to check his status. So im still hanging and dont know how to help my husband. I found online that his category is misdemeanor but the findings written or reported by the CID is selling..is there any possibility for him to come out in jail?can we bail him by trading other passport for intance?or can we pay fine?or might the prosecutor deport him??pls help me regarding about this case or give me advice what can i do to help him??thank you in advance

        1. Avatar for Sarah

          Hello Joan.. need not worry, you need to meet us so we can move forward on this. Please call 055 8018669.

  11. Avatar for Pooja

    My husband is in big trouble. I need him out of jail. Pls get me ur contact no to get in touch with you.

  12. Avatar for khan

    Dear friends, I want know that after deported a person from dubai as a felony category case he will can re entr possible to the uae or if any legal chance to enter uae, please give me a replay

  13. Avatar for Vishal


    Need some advice. 2 months back I was involved in fight case in bar. I called police and filed a case against 2 unknown persons for beating me. When I filed a case there was against me also since I also had alcohol. I still filed a case against them and agreed to pay the fine for alcohol. I had to take my case back since I needed my passport to travel to my home country. I paid fine of 2000 in police station and got my passport back. I went on leaves to my home country for almost a month. While coming back I was detained at airport saying that there is case against me for alcohol.

    I was taken to jail and I had to pay the fine again of 2000 to get out.
    My question is how can I get my name removed so that there is no problem at airport. Also is it possible to get refund of extra fine paid. I have receipts of previous fine paid also.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

  14. Avatar for Muhammad

    I have a car loan and a personal loan (towards down payment of the car) with an Islamic bank in Dubai, I came to my home country for vacation and couldn’t return back due to a family tragedy. Now since my cheques bounced, bank has filled a case against me. The worst part is, the car has been confiscated by Dubai Muncipality as an unattended vehicle and has been auctioned recently. I owe total 45,000 AED to the bank (as 35,000 towards car loan and 10,000 as personal loan for the down payment). I tried to get a discount from the bank to make one time payment, but the bank is insisting for the whole amount 45,000 AED which I am unable to provide now. When checked with police station, the bank has filed complaint for only AED 16,000. I checked with bank if I can pay 16,000 directly and get the release, they insisted for the total amount of AED 45,000 only. Please help me, can I pay the amount in police station (16,000) for which case has been filed and get the release? or will there be another case against me after I pay this 16,000. I checked with the bank if they have received any compensation from the auction, but they refused to provide any information. I am really confused, if the bank is insisting for AED 45,000, why have they filed the case for only 16,000. I am ready to pay this 16,000, but they are notreadyto accept. Can I arrange today this amount in police station and get clearances? or will there be another case against me for the balance amount after I pay this amount. Please guide me.

  15. Avatar for Robbie Samuel
    Robbie Samuel

    My friend was travelling from the USA to dubai .He was carrying medical marijuana. He sais that he was cleared to travel with it from Washington, but was arrested immediately once he got to the UAE. We dont even know where to begin.

  16. Avatar for Louis


    I am writing with regards to by husbands case. Due to financial problems loan & CC payments were not made & now bank has filed a case. He has his first hearing in next couple of days. What would be the solution as we are in financial crisis with no help around. Request you to kindly advise & let us know the court procedures.

    Looking forward for your reply…

  17. Avatar for sabhiya patel
    sabhiya patel

    I am XXX my brother is stuck in a drug case since I went to the police station there is no reply from them only they provide me a case number 2016/16024
    he is in Rashidiya police station since Thursday night CID Officer came to my house for search but they did not get any thing in our house and even they did not tell me exactly what had happened when I spoke with my brother he said Thursday he went to duty and at 7 pm his friend called him to meet him much time his friend called him but he said he will complete his work and then only he will come to meet him he went to meet his friend evening 7 pm and there CID officer cough him
    since that day he is with CID. When CID bough him home for a search they only informer us that he is involved in a Drug case that it.

    sir, he got married only 2 year before and a kid 1 year old they are in India and my brother does not have any criminal record hear or in india he work in a couriour company.

    I feel I am helpless what to do where to go please help me

    XXX this is my number please call me and guide me to save my brother life

  18. Avatar for Kei Dale


    I have a friend who is working 2 years now in Dubai, at the first 6 months of his work he was caught stealing money from the cash via CCTV in which he admitted the amount was around 1-3k Dirhams, after that event he was allowed to work again until the remainder of his contract, then one month before his end contract he mistakenly sent a Resignation Letter rather than a Non Renewal letter.. I know from his part it was his mistake, now the Company is cancelling his free ticket home, without gratuity and any money, Now I’ve called his case with regards to Municipality and they said that they will only accept a letter which is an OFFICIAL ONE not a written personal email one but the thing is He is now being blackmailed to not complain then asked to pay around 10k or more of what he had stolen before, Now they are agreeing with a payment method but now the Company is making a settlement paper for him that he will not be allowed to work to any competing company and he will go home off his own without any ticket.

    Now I just wanna ask whats the best way to deal with this? Because we have no idea about the laws and they are blackmailing my friend that if he doesn’t pay they will call the police and make a report. Hope you can help!

  19. Avatar for Myla

    my brother had been in jail in AUH sometime in 2002 for drugs and he has been deported after 1 yr. and been living back home with his family.
    He’s now applying for a job to another country and will need a police report issued fr UAE.
    Our question is, since he was in jail for drugs, will this be considered a criminal case? Or if has already cleared his case, will the report will state that he’s free fr a criminal case?

  20. Avatar for ARUN KUMAR

    Hi Ms Sarah

    I am Arun residing in Dubai and company has terminated me for incurrimf the loss of 150000 which was done by my previous boss amd he is not in the country anymore .

    They have filed a labour case as well as police case against me . I am staying here with my wife and 4 year old kid without money here for past two months ans struging a lot to survive here . Now police has asked me to come on thursday for filing the case .

    Need advice on how this will procced further from the police . I also have hearing scheduled on Labour court on 29th morining . Pls advice how i should proceed . My passport my settlement are held with the company.

  21. Avatar for Missh

    Hi good day.
    My brother is on jail now in sharjah since Dec. 25..
    He used the company car of my father, and my brother has no license .so he got accident at that moment.my brother is under the influence of alcohol also.
    So now,mybe his case is driving without license ,influence of alcohol, and the car accident..
    At this time were waiting for his case to come out.
    They catch also the the car.
    My question is ,in this cases how long will he will be in jail?
    Is it bailable?
    Can the employer of my brother can give him case because his not reporting to work??

    And for my father’s employer can they file case to my father?
    Or maybe the worse they can have the right to cancel my father and pat the damged?
    Thank u and waiting for the reply

  22. Avatar for Jean

    Hi can you please help me, my boss is accusing me of hacking his account even if i dont know his password in email he keeps on insisting that I knew it. What exactly happens is he opened his email on my computer and he forgot to log out and password also saves automatically in that computer maybe he click password save. then whenever i opened gmail to open my account his email are opening. Then he took my emirates id and give it to police and he said he filed a case against me and im under investigation about hacking. How will i know if i have pending case and how is it called hacking if i were not the one who opened his email and i didnt do anything harmful to him. I dont know even his password. He is insisting I go through his personal file. I told him what will i do to his personal file? He ask me to wrote a letter that i wil never opened it again. I dont want to do it but he force me. Since I know that it can be used against me i recorded how he force me to do it. What might be the case he can file and what is the legal things i need to know. please help. Thanks

  23. Avatar for Munibah

    I have filed a case against my tenant who was unlawfully subleasing his apartment through Airbnb. The lady who was subleasing from her was not aware of this being illegal but when she found out that he had broken into another tenants apartment , she asked the management to change the lock. At the time of leaving she gave the keys to me . I took the keys to the judge on my hearing to submit it in court but he advised me to keep the key and wait for the judgement . I did submit the subleasee’s signed letter that she had rented it from him and her payment receipts to him etc. during her stay the municipality raided her apartment and took evidence of the sublease and presented it to court !
    However today my tenant somehow convinced the police that I broke into the apartment while his family was there .
    So they got the apartment opened for him !
    I went to the court they told me to wait for the judgement .
    I am thinking that he may put a criminal case against me or a civil one .
    What can he do when I have submitted all proofs to the court in rental dispute courts .

  24. Avatar for Steve

    Dear Ms Sarah
    Recently was arrested and kept in for 24 hour for beeing drunk and having an argument with a taxi driver
    They have let me out but kept my passport and I have to attended court on 16th march
    Any idea if I will get jail time or fine?

  25. Avatar for Lyn

    Hi, I really need your help.
    My husband was arrested last Friday in his store in, hili mall. Before that day, late in the evening he said police called him and told him to go to hili police station because he have customer complain. The last time we are able to talked was on Friday at around 4pm we cannot talked that much because he said that the police will get his phone, He just said that he will be transferred in al murabaa police station. Today, April 2, 2017, from Dubai I went to al ain to search my husband but it was not reflected in the system which custody he is now. The case is uploaded and it was filed in Abu Dhabi and they said cid is the one caught my husband. This is the 3rd day since he was arrested, I don’t have any clue where he is now. Please help me
    Thank you

  26. Avatar for Sara

    I had an argument with a police officer and then went to the police station and they tested me for alcohol and there was a percentage of alcohol in my blood this was in May 2015 in Abudhabi. Now i wanted to get a police clearance for a job, tried to do it online and I got a message that I have to visit the security media, does that mean the charge is still going to show on my record. This happened a year and half ago, I spent 2 days in custody only cause it was a long weekend, met with the prosecutor then went to court few weeks later. The judge’s word was to gey whipped, as muslim drinking alcohol so went to the correction unit they just did the fingerprints and pictures and let me out. Now my question is this is going to show on my records or no? And is it fine to go to the security media or this might be a problem. The case is closed cause i traveled few times, no issues. Please advise.

  27. Avatar for Amna

    Hello. My husband was arrested by CID on the 6th of March as they received a tip off that he was selling drugs. They found him in possession of 2 gms of crystal meth and they searched our house as well and didn’t find anything. There was no exchange of money and my husband confessed to having this amount for personal use only. He has met the public prosecutor twice and has received an letter saying his case is on going till the 26th of May. His father has applied for bail through a typing centre and they said they have submitted the request 2 days ago. This incident has happened in Dubai.
    Q1. How long can they take to investigate a case ? He was alone and the case against him appears as a felony for selling drugs . My husband has denied these claims ,Both times he has spoken to the prosecutor. It’s been over 2 months without an update.
    Q2. How does the bail process work and how long does it take?

  28. Avatar for Logan Edwards

    It got me when you said that arson is a criminal offense wherein the person will be jailed for up to 20 years due to burning or causing a fire on someone else’s property. My brother might be faced with that since he accidentally lit a shed on fire when he played with fireworks. I think we need to hire a lawyer immediately in case the neighbor decides to file a case. Thank you.

  29. Avatar for Sarah Smith

    It’s interesting to learn that criminal law deal with everything from misdemeanors to felony and capital crimes. I hadn’t realized that there are different levels of crime and thus different levels of law to handle the crime. With a misdemeanor like DUI, I wonder how much a typical fine is under criminal law.

  30. Avatar for Gary Puntman

    My friend was recently robbed. It’s good to know that criminal attorneys can handle cases like that, like you mentioned. That could be a good option for him to get compensation and justice.

  31. Avatar for Mehwish

    I waa working in a company as a receptionist they forcefully told me to handle cash i told them i cant do this but they told me if i dont i world lose my job so told ok give me a safe at the reception to keep the money safe but they dint i told them to put cctv at the top of the table where i sit they dint after my prohabation i went on leave which was approved by the company when i came back they accused me of stealing money teo guys came from there head office took my passport took me in a room threatened me to sign a paper which stated i stole the money and will return it in a month and the same day terminated me the same day i went and did labor case on the.because thyy dint clear my dues and i went to CID for my passpory as well but after one month they did criminal case on my and now its been 2 years i am stuck in the case i cannot travel as i have a travel ban because of this case although i have won the labor case against the company and they need to pay me but its been one year they dint even pay me that and i a have all the proofs that i am innocent i am pregnant i want to finish this case befre my delivery please help me out.

  32. Avatar for Juanitah Ntambi Precious
    Juanitah Ntambi Precious

    I have my brother who is a friend to a guy who I believe robbed a car amd my brother was found driving it. He was taken into custody and car detained at police however we have not found out 2 zlweeks later he is detained amd then when we went to police we have been told that he is being transferred to another jail and they chased us with no details of offense. The friend is in the wind (owner of car) and we are foreigners and do not know what to do. Any advise on what can be done or jail term. My brother had a visitor visa that expires in January 2021. What happens after this? Thank you in advance.

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