Could you be accused of Forgery? How not to be a victim of such accusation?
Forgery is a criminal act in the United Arab Emirates. It is governed by Federal Law No. 31 of 2021 and the Federal Penal code No. 15 of 2020. The occurrence of a forgery has a negative impact on personal relationships and day-to-day business operations.
In this article, we define Forgery as per the UAE law, we shed light on what are the elements that constitute the criminal act of document fabrication and verbal forgery and present the corresponding penalties.
Forgery of Documents
The Federal Penal Code of the UAE defined:
“Forgery of a document is changing the truth in it in one of the ways indicated below – a change that would cause harm and with the intention of using it as a valid document.”
- Making a change to an existing document, whether by adding, deleting, or changing the writing of the document, or the numbers, signs, or pictures in it or on it.
- Placing a forged signature or stamp, or changing a valid signature, stamp, or fingerprint.
- Obtaining by surprise or fraud the signature, stamp, or fingerprint of a person without knowledge of the contents of the document or without valid consent with it.
- Fabricating a document or imitating it and attributing it to others.
- Filling out a blank sheet of paper, signed, stamped, or thumbprint, without the consent of the owner of the signature, stamp, or fingerprint.
- Impersonation or substitution of identity in a document prepared to prove it.
- Misrepresentation of the truth in a document when it is edited in what was prepared to prove it.
As per the law stated above, the accusation of Forgery must be resulting of a harm caused by either of the following acts:
- Contributing to fabrication in one way of the above-mentioned situations.
- Using a fabricated document done by others as a factual document.
Nevertheless, the UAE Supreme Court clarified:
“It is decided that the crime of using a forged paper is only established by establishing the knowledge of the person who used it that it is forged” Dubai Court of Cassation 727-2020 criminal cassation.
Therefore, in addition to proving harm, the knowledge of the accuser pertaining to the fabricated documents must be proven to the Court to issue a judgment against them.
As per the UAE Law, verbal forgery is defined in the below situations:
- Any person declares in procedures related to the investigation of death, inheritance, or the due will before the competent authority to issue false judgments /orders about the facts desired to be proven while he/she is ignorant of their truth, or he/she knows that they are incorrect when the Judgment /order is issued based on these statements.
2. Any person who gives incorrect personal data in a judicial or administrative investigation.
3. Whoever provides false personal data to a public official during or when performing his/her job.
Therefore, an accusation of forgery is not always in correspondence with a fabricated document, it may be based on a person’s verbal statement that is proven to be incorrect while he/she may be ignorant of the truth, or he/she knows that they are incorrect.
As a result of forgery, the accused person may face any of the below relevant penalties:
- Forgery of official Documents, stamps, and signatures: Imprisonment up to 10 years and fines.
- Forgery of Documents, stamps, and signatures: Imprisonment up to 3 years and fines.
- A doctor or midwife who knowingly issues a forged certificate or statement regarding pregnancy, birth, illness, disability, death, or any other thing related to his/her profession, even if the act occurred as a result of a plea, a recommendation or mediation: Imprisonment up to 5 years and fines.
None of us is completely immune to being a victim of forgery whether on a personal or business level nor that may be protected from being accused of it. Therefore, if you are either a victim or being accused of forgery, it is advisable to seek a professional legal advice to understand your legal position and get the required support.
“The Article published herein, does not, constitute a legal advice; and does not intend to impart any legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only”