المقالات القانونية / القانون الجنائي


Theft Article Punishments

criminal law

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March 03, 2014


The public prosecutor charges the accused with theft. The exception to this rule is a situation where theft is committed between siblings, parents and children or spouses, and no third-party rights accrue in which case the public prosecutor only charges the accused on the complaint of the other party. This has been provided under Article 10 of the Criminal Procedural Law.

As background, the law on theft is set out in the Federal Decree-Law No. 31 of 2021 On the Issuance of the Crimes and Penalties Law (UAE Penal Code) and procedures dealing with the crimes punishable under the UAE Penal Code have been set out in the Federal Law No. 35 of 1992 Concerning the Criminal Procedural Law.

Under Article 435 of the UAE Penal Code, theft is defined as the taking of property belonging to a person other than the criminal.

If theft is committed either at night time or by a person carrying a weapon, then following Article 441 of the UAE Penal Code, the perpetrator may be punishable with imprisonment for a period not less than 2 years and not exceeding 7 years.

Article 441 of the UAE Penal Code further provides for imprisonment of 5 years - 7 years for the crime of theft which is committed by an employee in the place of employment or to inflict damage to the employer.

Article 442 of the UAE Penal Code further details all cases of theft for which punishment of at least 1 year may be imposed. These include committing theft in a place of worship, inhabited places like schools, banks, homes and all areas included within the boundary of a home, forcing entry into a place which has boundaries preventing the general public from entering, using the key without authorization, committing theft on public transport or at a station, port or airport, stealing with a false identity, theft by more than one person who agrees to commit theft, committing theft of any property belonging to the government as mentioned in Article 5 of the UAE Penal Code, and theft committed on cattle or during the war against wounded persons.

Additionally, following Article 447 of the Penal Code, whosoever uses a car, a motorbike or similar vehicle without permission or approval of the owner or who has the right to its use, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding a year or a fine not exceeding AED 10,000.

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