New Decision Allows Some Cases to Stop at Prosecution

New Decision Allows Some Cases to Stop at Prosecution

By Abdulrahman Junaid

The UAE is always striving to develop and improve its legal process, making it more efficient and less burdensome on its residents. On 1st October 2019, the Attorney General issued an amendment under Decree No. 119 of 2019 against penalties the law criminalizes under the current Penal Order, meaning that fewer cases are required to go to court.

What is a Penal Order?
A Penal Order is a judicial decision issued by a Public Prosecutor to decide whether a fine is an appropriate punishment for a criminal charge, without referring it to the relevant Court (a ‘Table of Schedules’ has been included below for more information on crimes that fall within this scope).

The Recent Amendment to the Law
From 1st October 2019 the Attorney General assigned Prosecutors the right to have authority to decide the outcome of certain cases. After investigating each individual case, the Prosecutor will decide whether to issue a Penal Order, depending on the type of crime, or refer the case to the Criminal Court. The Prosecutor can only authorise fines to those offenses listed in the Table of Schedules below.

The Attorney General, or the Prosecutors acting under the Attorney General’s authorization, may amend the ‘Decision of the Penal Order’. For example, the Penal Order may be cancelled or replaced with community service if deemed appropriate.
The Decision of the Penal Order shall be applied only to Federal Prosecutors, namely:

a. Abu Dhabi Federal Prosecution
b. The Prosecution of the Emirate of Sharjah
c. Ajman Prosecution
d. The Emirate of Umm Al Quwain Prosecution
e. Prosecution of the Emirate of Fujairah

Benefits of the Recent Amendment
The most identifiable benefits of the amended Decree are:

a. Faster judicial process
b. Greater clarity around fines and reduced fine amounts
c. Offences listed in the Table of Schedules will not incur jail time

Table of Schedules
The Tables of Schedules below set out the Articles applicable to the above revised Penal Order.

First: Federal Penal Code

Item Charge Article Fine
1 Intentionally causing inconvenience to others using wireless or non-wireless communication devices 298 AED 3,000
2 Accidentally burning something owned by others 310 AED 3,000
3 Consuming food or drinks in a public place during fasting during the month of Ramadan 313/1 AED 2,000
4 Forcing a fasting person to consume food or drinks in public during fasting during the month of Ramadan 313/2 AED 2,000 plus the outlet must be closed for a period of one month
5 Responsible for operating a food outlet during the day during the month of Ramadan without permission 313, 313/2 AED 3,000
6 Attempted suicide 335/1 AED 1,000
7 Accidentally jeopardizing the safety of another person (limited to minor injuries) 343/1 AED 1,000
8 Defamation of others (excluding public servant) 372/1 AED 5,000
9 Public insult (excluding public servant) 373/1 AED 3,000
10 Defamation or insult by telephone or in the presence of the victim and in the presence of others
(excluding public servant)
374/1 AED 3,000
11 Defamation and insult by telephone with no one present or in a written communication sent by any means (excluding public servant) 374/2 AED 2,000
12 Unauthorized use of a car, motorbike or the like without the permission or permission of the owner or owner of the motor vehicle 394 AED 1,000
13 Consuming food or drinks in a licensed shop and refusing unjustifiably to pay what is due 


Occupying one or more rooms in a hotel or leasing a vehicle or trailer at a licensed shop and refusing unjustifiably to pay what is due

395 AED 1,000 (Claims less than AED 20,000) 


AED 2,000 (Claims between AED 20,000 and AED 50,000)

14 Giving a check in bad faith with a value less than AED 50,000 401, 403 AED 2,000
15 Giving a check in bad faith with a value between AED 50,000 and AED 100,000 401, 403 


AED 5,000
16 Giving a check in bad faith with a value between AED 100,000 and AED 200,000 401, 403 AED 10,000
17 Destroying or damaging third party property, whether movable or immovable, and making it unusable or disrupting it in any way whatsoever (when the act occurred in error) 424/1, 43 AED 1,000
18 Accidentally cutting, uprooting or destroying a tree or plant, owned by others, in a deadly way 


Accidentally destroying an existing plant or any plant or seed, owned by others, by spraying a harmful substance


Accidentally destroying agricultural machinery or tools, owned by others, or making them unusable

425/1, 43 AED 2,000
19 Exhausting, torturing or abusing a domestic animal 


Refusing to take care of an animal whose care is your responsibility

432 AED 1,000
20 Accidentally causing the death or injury of a domestic animal owned by others 433/1 AED 500

Second: Federal Law No. (6) of 1973 on the entry of foreigner’s residence and its amendments

Item Charge Article Fine
1 Staying in the country illegally for a period not exceeding 90 days 1, 2, 1/21, 3 AED 1,000
2 Failure of the guardian or guardians to confirm the residence of a child within the period provided for by law 1, 2, 21 AED 1,000
3 Assisting someone to stay in the country illegally 1, 2, 1/21, 3, 36 AED 1,000

Third: Federal Law No. (21) of 1973 regarding traffic, traffic and amendments

Item Charge Article Fine
1 Driving a vehicle when suspended from driving by a Court Order or an Order from the Licensing Authority 50 AED 3,000
2 Driving without a driving license 


Driving a vehicle without the appropriate license for the vehicle type

51 AED 3,000
3 Transferring a license plate to another vehicle without the approval of the Licensing Authority 1/52 


AED 2,000
4 Leaving the scene of a traffic accident, in which injuries have occurred, without an acceptable excuse 2/52 AED 2,000
5 Refusing to give name or address or giving incorrect data to police officers 56 AED 1,000

ADG Legal can assist you. If you need any help in understanding the changes and the potential impact of the recent amendments, please contact us on

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