Possession and Using of Drugs UAE Criminal Law .pdf
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Possession and Using of Drugs
Legal Articles: UAE Criminal Law
By Mr. Hassan Elhais ‐ Legal Consultant in Dubai
A recent case at the Dubai Court of Cassation was overturned based on a procedural error by
the public prosecutor and police. Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultancy represented a
client from an African country who was accused and detained for possession and use of
narcotic drugs such as hashish and marijuana. Our client, along with six other individuals, was
accused of illegal possession of hashish and marijuana in December 2013.
Police and anti‐narcotic CID agents obtained information from their reliable sources indicating
that our client, along with his acquaintances, who were residing in Dubai Marina, possessed
drugs and had been witnessed using those drugs in the privacy of their homes. In these kinds of
matters, if the police obtain any conclusive evidence or information they are obliged to seek
permission and an order from the Public Prosecution to carry out serious investigations. This
order should come from the Public Prosecutor himself and the names of the accused should be
mentioned along with a timeframe to execute that order. This is pursuant to Article 221 and
Article 228 of the Criminal Procedure laws.
After obtaining the investigation and search warrant, Police raided the apartment of one of our
client’s acquaintances. They found quantities of marijuana and hashish. Our client happened to
enter into the apartment whilst police were carrying out their investigations. Police suspected
that our client might be involved with his acquaintances – which led them to search and
conduct medical tests on our client. Police concluded that our client, along with his
acquaintances, was in fact using drugs and possessed a small quantity of hashish on him. They
were all immediately detained and taken to the police station. Our client later confessed to
possessing and using drugs in the privacy of his home.
After his arrest, the Public Prosecutor transferred the matter to the Criminal Court to render a
judgment for possession and use of drugs. Our client sought legal assistance and appointed Al
Rowaad Advocates as his attorneys to represent him in this matter. Before the Court of First
Instance, we argued that the police and Public Prosecution made a serious error in not
following criminal procedure laws prior to our client’s arrest. The Court of First Instance ruled
that all the accused had confessed to possession of drugs, hence they should be held guilty for
possession and use of illegal drugs. The case was then referred to the Court of Appeal. Our
argument, before the Court of Appeal, was that police should have requested a search warrant
and investigation order from the Public Prosecutor after obtaining a conclusive piece of
evidence indicating our client’s involvement in possession of drugs. The search warrant that
police had did not state the name of our client and did not indicate the timeframe to execute
the Prosecutor’s order. Despite all of our efforts to obtain a favourable judgment, the Court of
Appeal rejected all arguments and sustained the judgment rendered by the Court of First
The matter was then referred to the Court of Cassation. Our arguments, before the Court of
Cassation, in summary, was the serious error during the investigation procedure along with a
lack of conclusive evidence indicating our client’s involvement in possession of drugs. We
further argued that our client’s confession and admission should not be taken into account
because the mere admission of possession resulted from a serious error in procedure.
Therefore admission of possession should be rendered null and void because of the void
procedural conduct by the police and Public Prosecution. As a result, the Court of Cassation
transferred the matter back to the Court of Appeal to further investigate the matter. The Court
of Appeal shall endeavour to produce more evidence to render a final verdict in this matter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hassan Elhais
After qualifying as a lawyer in his native Egypt and years of successful practice within the field
of criminal and public law, Mr. Elhais moved to Dubai in 2005 and has been practicing as a legal
consultant in Dubai since then. Working exclusively with Al Rowaad Advocates, Hassan is an
effective leader of the company, the spokesperson and driving force. Hassan has a strong
ethical stance with regards to the place of the law firm and its work on behalf of the client,
from clarity on the legal process through to the fee system.
Specializing in the drafting of all statement of claim, memos and consultation with regards to all
kind of litigation, Hassan has worked his way through the ranks of Al Rowaad Advocates from
joining as Legal Advisor to his current role as Managing Partner. Member of Egypt Bar
Association; Member of International Bar Association; and Recommended Lawyer of Embassy
of United States in Abu Dhabi.
Copyright Hassan Elhais
For more information about Hassan Elhais – Legal Consultant in Dubai