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criminal law

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May 06, 2018

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Can a theft charge be dropped if the police complaint is withdrawn?

Question: A few days ago, a friend of mine reported that Dh2,000 had been stolen from him. Police investigated and arrested some of his friends. They were all released except one. My friend who filed the complaint now wishes to withdraw the case. Is this possible and what is the procedure?

Answer: Although it is your friend's right as a complainant to sign a waiver of his rights of claiming any compensation, stealing is a crime that includes public rights and therefore cannot be closed by waiver of the charges by the victim / complainant. However, such waiver may be considered by the judge to lower the sentence for the crime. Taking into account that the judge has the right to replace the jail sentence with a fine, it might be helpful for the accused if the complainant submits such a waiver. The waiver has to be signed either at the Notary Public or before judicial authorities. If there is more than one victim, the waiver has to be given by all of them.

Question: I had a commercial case filed against me and the court ordered that I pay part of the claimed amount. Do I have a right to appeal this judgment? How long do I have to appeal it?

Answer: You may file your appeal within 30 days. The court will likely fix the appeal date where the judgment will be revised by different tribunal who will review the case and listen to your argument. The Appeal court has the right to reduce the amount, but your appeal will never be used against you to increase the amount. If the opposing party did not file an appeal to request an increase in the amount, your appeal will either be dismissed and the amount will stay the same, or it will be accepted and the amount will be reduced.

Note: There has been a recent amendment in the Criminal Procedure Law wherein under Article 347 of the Federal Decree Law Number 17 of 2018 specific misdemenour crimes can be resorted to penal reconciliation upon the request of the complainant.

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