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criminal law


December 15, 2016

UAE Family Matters: What is the Procedure for Applying for Bail after Being Detained?

Question: My husband was detained by the police last week. We have hired a lawyer to represent him, but could you please explain the procedure for applying for bail?

Answer: The main concerns of any criminal lawyer or legal consultant is always to first meet the client and then try to get the person released as quickly as possible. Generally, the law gives prosecutors the right to provisionally release the accused for any crime committed or for any accusation they are charged with, unless the probable verdict is a death sentence or life imprisonment. Such bail decisions could be issued on the basis of a request from the accused or their lawyer, and prosecutors are able to grant bail at any point in the investigation up until the case reaches court. This is in accordance with Article 111 of the UAE Criminal Procedures Law. However, the law does not strictly mention what sort of guarantee should be offered against bail. More often than not, passports are offered to guarantee that the accused will attend court. However, if the passport of the accused is unavailable, then prosecutors have the right to withhold the passport of a member of the person's family or a friend. An alternative could also be to leave a fixed cash deposit with the court cashier or, if that is not possible, prosecutors could also take a guarantee amount from a solvent person that would not be returned if the accused breaches the release conditions. If this happens and an accused violates release conditions without justification, the financial guarantee will be owned by the government without any need for final judgment.

Question: My wife's purse was stolen last month and, although she filed a criminal complaint against the thief and that person was arrested, they have now been put out on bail while their passport is held. Is it possible that my wife can request prosecutors or the court take the person into custody?

Answer: No, that is not possible. This is because Article 117 of the UAE Criminal Procedures law clearly states that the victim does not have the right to request cancellation of the bail of the accused and cannot participate in any discussion related to their bail.

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