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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

UAE legal Q&As: can I report my husband for stealing from me?

A reader asks if she can report her husband for stealing from her and another asks what a charge of aggravated theft entails

My husband stole money from me. Can I register a case of theft?

Theft carries a punishment of imprisonment from six months up to three years or a fine. Attempted theft, which is also a crime, carries the punishment from three months up to 18 months or a fine.

The public prosecutor charges the accused with theft. The exception to this rule is situations where theft is committed between siblings, parents and children or spouses, and where no third party rights accrue, in which case the public prosecutor only charges the accused on the complaint of the other party.

However, if the crime of theft between such relations was also accompanied by aggravating circumstances like carrying a weapon, or committing theft at night, the public prosecution has the discretion to proceed with charging the accused without any confirmation from the other party. Since he is your husband, you have to file a complaint and it will be at the discretion of the Public Prosecutor and in light of the evidence presented whether your husband is charged or not.

My friend is being charged with aggravated theft. What is the difference between theft and aggravated theft?

According to Article 389 of the UAE Penal code cases of aggravated theft include stealing in: a place of worship, inhabited places like schools, banks, homes (including the boundaries of a home) whether occupied or not. Forcing entry into a place which has boundaries preventing the general public from entering, using the key without authorisation, and any act that causes damage while entering for the purpose of committing theft can result in someone being charged with aggravated theft.

Committing theft on public or government transport, stealing using a false identity - which is an additional crime of falsification, theft by more than one person who agree to commit theft and are present at the scene of the crime, committing theft of any property belonging to the government as mentioned in article 5, and theft committed on cattle are all examples of aggravating circumstances.

If someone you know is being charged with aggravated theft it means the charges are more severe under the Laws of the UAE and carry a more severe punishment as a result.

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