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UAE lists offences that can be dealt with fines instead of jail terms

ABU DHABI: The Attorney General has given courts in the UAE the power to deal with more crimes using financial penalties instead of jail sentences.
The decision by Dr Hamad Saif Al Shamsi allows prosecutors to punish 13 further offences with a fine.
“The new anti-drug law considers the fact that some users are patients and victims of drug dealers,” a WAM article said.
The decision is the latest move in an extensive overhaul of the criminal system.
The list includes drug possession, public drunkenness and driving with a suspended licence.
A person caught with a quantity of drugs that would be classed as for personal use would not have to be sent to jail.
Someone caught with drugs would be fined between Dh10,000 and Dh30,000 ($2,720-$8,170) if it was their first offence, rising to Dh50,000 if it were their third.
Tough laws remain in place for drug smuggling, with a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum death sentence, if pursued by prosecutors.
Updates to penalties include a fine of Dh20,000 against those who provide alcohol to people under the age of 21.
People who issue threats against others will be fined Dh10,000. There are fines for allowing an animal to threaten public safety.
Eavesdropping, reading a letter addressed to other people without their permission and trespassing will land offenders with a Dh5,000 fine.
A person drinking alcohol in public or causing unrest while drunk will be fined between Dh1,000 and Dh5,000 instead of a jail term.
A Dh250 fine will be issued against motorists who fail to follow rules and instructions put in place to regulate flow of traffic.
The following offences can be dealt with by paying a fine of between Dh1,000 and Dh2,000:
Disturbing other people
Wrongly burning property
Using someone else’s car, motorbike, or any other type of vehicle without permission
Damaging plants
Driving with a suspended licence
Driving without a licence
Unapproved switching of number plate from one car to another
Overstaying a visa
Helping others stay illegally in the country
Failing to arrange a residency visa for a newborn child.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, trafficking in amphetamines has increased in the Middle East in recent years.
Photo: Dubai Customs
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