It is important for any accused in any criminal case to
understand what his rights are in criminal sessions and to be able
to at least imagine how things might work in such sessions or how
the law is organized. That is why, I felt it was important to draft
this article on the basis of the Criminal Procedures Law, Federal
Law No. (35) Of 1992 and its amendments.
In general, attendance of the accused is mandatory in the
criminal cases unless the expected sentence of the crime does not
include jail or deportation and is only limited to fines.
The second scenario where the accused does not have to attend is
when he appeared at the first hearing, and heard about the charges
raised by the Prosecutor and accepted to face the trial. However,
in both cases, the courts always have the discretionary power to
request the personal attendance of the accused.
In all cases, if the accused is not able to attend and has valid
and justifiable reasons, he has the right to send his lawyer or his
family member to explain to the criminal courts the reason for his
absence or why he has failed to appear before the court and to
request for another hearing date as per Article No. 160 of the
Criminal Procedures Law, Federal Law No. (35) Of 1992 and its
Only if the Court considers the reason to be valid and decided
to accept it, they have the discretionary power to shift the
hearing date to another day for the accused. The accused then shall
be presented to the court without any handcuffs or shackles.
However, he still has to be under necessary observation.
The accused has the right to attend the hearing unless he causes
disruption or disturbance, in which case, the court will have the
discretionary power to remove him from the hearing but has to
informed and notified of all that events that took place during
In all hearings, Prosecutor has to attend and the Court has to
consider his request and give their decision. Throughout the
criminal court proceeding, respecting the order and the procedures
is mandatory. If anyone of the audience disturbs its order, the
judges have the right to direct his or her removal from the
hearing. If he or she refuses, the court has the right to put him
in jail for 24 hours and ask him to pay a fine.
Most of the hearings have to be held in public, unless the
courts decide to have the hearing in a closed session in order to
prevent certain individuals from attending.
In the beginning of the hearing, the accused and his lawyer (if
there is an appointed lawyer) would be requested to appear before
the judge. The accused might be asked about his name, profession,
nationality, and he shall know what the charges that he is facing
are. The prosecutor then shall be given the time to talk. If the
victim files a civil claim before the criminal courts he shall be
given the chance to mention his request to the court. The accused
then shall be asked about the charges and whether he or she is
admitting to them or not. If he admits, the courts have the
discretionary power to issue a judgment without a witnesses
hearing. That is more likely to happen if he pleads guilty, unless
the expected sentence could include a death sentence, in which
case, the courts have to complete the investigation process.
Disclaimer: This article comprises broad and general information
about legal materials. The material is general advice and not legal
advice, and should not be treated as such. The legal information in
this article is provided is extracted from the UAE Criminal
Procedures Law Federal Law No. (35) Of the Year 1992 and based on
our experiences as a law firm. The information provided are only
guidelines. You should certainly not postpone pursuing legal
advice, ignore legal advice, or begin or suspend any legal action
because of information provided in this article. You must not rely
on the information in this article as a substitute to legal counsel
from your attorney or any other practiced professional legal
services provider.This information is drafted by licensed legal
practitioner and sent from Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal
Consultants which is duly licensed law firm to practice law under
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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