Legal Risks of False Accusations

Filing a fake complaint or claims in the UAE can invite big trouble. Even though authorities in UAE appreciate people coming out reporting crimes or any wrongdoings, the law strictly discourages fake reporting. There are various side effects of fake reporting that waste authority’s resources and time. Moreover, the most dangerous ramification is penalizing an innocent person. That is why there are strong laws against false accusations.

What is False Accusation?

“Reporting a false crime or accusing a person intentionally causing wrongful suspicion is called a false accusation.”

Unlike other countries, UAE has very stringent laws against people filing wrong crimes and complaints. The federal law no. (3) of 1987 and its consecutive amendments (the UAE civil code) clearly define the act of false reporting to administrative authorities or judicial in UAE as a punishable offense. The most essential factor in determining false claim crimes is ‘bad faith.’ The punishment for false accusations can include imprisonment, fines, and other penalties. If the investigation leads to another fabricator, they can also be convicted.

The most common fake police reports recorded by UAE police departments are:

  • To file a complaint framing an innocent person by misleading or confusing investigators.
  • To file a complaint out of malice with the intention to harm another person or their reputation.
  • To mislead insurers or the court to obtain high compensation.

Law for Filing a Wring Police Complaint

False accusation is not a minor crime in UAE. Irrespective of a person’s reasons for filing a false police complaint, one can invite serious legal consequences. Below are the legal provisions and punishments for false complaints according to various articles under UAE Federal Penal Code of Law no. 3 of 1987:

  • Article 266: anyone deliberately giving false information regarding a crime can face a jail term.
  • Article 275: anyone who reports a crime that never took place can serve a jail term for a maximum of 6 months and/or pay a fine of a maximum of Dh 3000.
  • Article 276: anyone who gives a false report to administrative authorities or judiciary about the person that leads to criminal punishment or disciplinary action against the person can be sentenced to detention or be liable to pay a fine.
  • Anyone who fabricates material evidence with full knowledge of the innocence of the accused can be punished by detention or a fine. In scenarios where the fabricated evidence leads to a felony penalty, the fabricator will be subjected to the same punishment intended for the accused.
  • Article 63: police officers investigating a case of false accusation will not attract any legal liability of the case. The police officers are protected against prosecution or lawsuit in false accusation cases.
  • Another remarkable provision in the UAE penal code is the innocent person can file a separate criminal complaint against the fabricator or false accuser.

Law for Forgery Based on Fake Claims

Fake claims based on forged documents are considered forgery and invite similar punishments. According to UAE law, any act to alter the reality of a written instrument (genuine document) in a manner that causes prejudice is called forgery. The penalty for forgery includes imprisonment for 10 years and fines. Article 216 of the UAE Federal Penal code states the types of forgeries:

  • To alter a genuine written instrument by adding, removing, or changing text, number, sequence, or images.
  • To put false signature or seal by copying or altering genuine signature, thumbprint or seal.
  • To imitate or create a false written instrument.
  • To fill wrong details on a blank signed document without the person’s approval who has signed, sealed, or imprinted the paper.
  • To take a false identity by misusing the identification proofs of another person which are specifically used for identification.
  • To alter the writing with a deceitful and fraudulent intent by preventing the achievement of genuine intent of the instrument.
  • To obtain by surprise the signature, seal, or thumbprints of a person without their knowledge or the consent of the person.

Law for False Accusation Leading to Defamation Case

While filing a false complaint with police is considered a false accusation, other forms of false accusation are also prevalent through various mediums. People who make false accusations in public, online with the intent to harm another person’s reputation can be charged with defamation. These types of cases are referred to as defamation cases under UAE penal code. Due to the intangible nature of reputation, defamation cases are difficult to argue in court. To qualify as a defamation case, the accusation must fulfill 3 elements:

  • Someone makes a false or defamatory statement.
  • The statement was issued verbally or in writing in front of a third party (witness).
  • The statement has caused harm to an extent.

Elements of False Accusations

It is hard for the police to determine whether the allegation made is true or false in some instances. The law describes such allegations as unsubstantiated claims, which are slightly different from false accusations. However, both allegations and accusations are determined as false and are categorized into 3 types:

  • Statements made are entirely false, and the reported events never occurred.
  • Accusations that narrate events that occur and are true, but an innocent person is accused in the description.
  • Accusations where the person filing complaint shares partial truth and mixes the false statements.

How can we help?

We are dedicated to offering targeted and practical legal advice to save our clients time and money. Our team has extensive experience defending and winning false accusation cases. We place a strong emphasis on protecting and preserving the best interests of our clients. We ensure that every legal case we engage in results in the best resolutions and benefits our clients. We provide expert legal counsel services across the UAE. We have offices in Dubai, Sharjah, and RAK. For all criminal cases, our criminal defense lawyers can assist you. If you or your loved ones are wrongly accused by someone and facing criminal charges, please get in touch through online or telephonic consultation.

While the UAE encourages everyone residing in the country to report crimes and wrongdoings, the people making false accusations are severely penalized. The person who makes accusations not only puts an innocent person at threat to be penalized but misleads police and wastes the government’s resources. The main element of a false accusation is the intent of ‘bad faith’. The UAE penal code is not based on speculations. Therefore, the cases are investigated to a great extent, and if the accusations and claims are found false, the perpetrators are booked under false accusation charges. The innocent person also has the right to file a case against the accuser unless the accuser proves that the accusations were not made deliberately and not in bad faith.

Once the case is proved, the accuser or fabricator can be imprisoned, fined and/or deported. If you are facing a false accusation in Dubai or any other emirate, it is advisable to seek the advice of a competent lawyer immediately. Even though a skilled criminal lawyer can help you in such cases, the legal fraternity in UAE discourages people from filing wrong or false complaints while reporting a crime.

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