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Trespassing, in common parlance, means entering and /or staying at a person’s property without the permission of such person.
Meaning of Trespassing
Like in many other jurisdictions, trespassing is also an offence under the UAE Laws. Under the Federal Decree Law No. 31 of 2021 (UAE Penal Code), any person who enters a place of living or safe keeping, against the wishes of the concerned person, is considered a trespasser. The offence of trespassing is punishable with fines of up to AED 10,000 or imprisonment of up to 1 year. Article 474 of the UAE Penal Code provides this.
Article 474 of the UAE Penal Code is set out below for reference.
“Any person who enters into an inhabited place or a place intended for dwelling or any of its appurtenances or a place intended to safeguard money or a real estate, against the will of the concerned person, and in other than the cases indicated in the law, and any person who remains therein against the will of the person who has the right to evict him if he is found hiding from such rightful person, shall be liable to a jail sentence for a period not exceeding one (1) year or a fine not exceeding AED ten thousand (10,000).
The court shall order the eviction of the convicted person from the place of the crime.”
Trespassing with other offences
Often, when an individual had trespassed onto a place, the offence is accompanied by other offences, such as robbery or burglary, or similar actions.
For example, under Article 436 of the UAE Penal Code, crime of domestic burglary may be punishable with life imprisonment if it is committed at night, by two or more persons with one of them carrying a weapon, by way of coercion or threat to use a weapon, and is committed in an inhabited place with the criminal having entered the place by climbing or breaking or by other unlawful means.
Article 436 is quoted below for reference.
“Life imprisonment shall be imposed against any person who commits the crime of domestic burglary if all the following circumstances are met:
- That it is committed at night.
- That it is committed by two persons or more.
- That one of the criminals is carrying a weapon.
- That it is committed in an inhabited place or used for dwelling or in any of its appurtenances, and that the criminal has entered by climbing or breaking or by the use of false keys or by assuming a public or false capacity, or by pretending to perform or assume a public service, or by any other unlawful means.
- That it is committed by way of coercion or threat to use a weapon.”
In fact, in an appeal before the Federal Supreme Court, in cases 564 and 683 of 2018, the accused had trespassed into the victim’s property and had subsequently raped and killed her. The Supreme Court in its decision dated 13 May 2019, upheld the decisions of the lower courts of convicting the accused for trespassing, raping and killing her and ratified the sentence imposed on the accused.
One must be conscious of trespassing onto another person’s property and avoid any such actions which may lead to criminal liabilities. It may be relevant to get in touch with criminal lawyers or experts who are adept at handling criminal matters on a daily basis in the event you get embroiled in a criminal matter.