When is a sponsor required for the defendant?
In many instances, it appears that individuals who agree to act as sponsors for the accused are not adequately informed about the responsibilities they undertake. They often do not realize the legal implications of their role, and it seems that nobody has explained the relevant UAE laws and the consequences associated with being a sponsor.
The decision to grant bail and its specific conditions lie within the discretion of the presiding judge. Bail is typically granted when there is insufficient evidence against the defendant, and in accordance with Article 106 of Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 (Penal Code), the individual’s previous criminal record (if any) and any previous non-monetary punishments should also be taken into account. The Public Prosecution may, upon its initiative or at the defendant’s request, release the accused on bail if the prescribed penalty for the crime they are accused of does not include capital punishment or life imprisonment. In most cases, the defendant’s pretrial detention status is reassessed at the conclusion of the preventive detention period determined by the Public Prosecution, which is typically either 21 days or at the discretion of the court. Additionally, in accordance with Article 122 of the Penal Code, one common condition for bail in the UAE is the provision of a personal or financial guarantor as determined by the Public Prosecutor or the judge, in accordance with the specified conditions.
What are personal guarantees and financial guarantees?
Personal guarantee: The defendant can personally guarantee themselves or have another party act as their sponsor. In this case, the accused and the sponsor submit their passports to the court as a guarantee that the accused will not leave the country before their case is decided and the sentence is implemented. In rare cases and specific circumstances, an institution or legal entity, such as a company or the defendant’s consulate, may act as the sponsor.
Financial guarantee: The judge determines the financial guarantee amount paid by the sponsor to the court. The guarantee is returned to the sponsor when the verdict is issued in the defendant’s case. However, if the defendant fails to comply with the conditions of their release on bail, the financial guarantee may be confiscated.
There are three ways to pay the financial guarantee:
(1) Cash deposit in the court’s treasury
(2) Submission of a bank guarantee according to the conditions specified in the release order
(3) Retaining the guarantee by the sponsor, with the requirement to deliver it to the court through one of the aforementioned methods if the defendant violates the terms of the surety.
Can the court ask for a personal guarantee and a financial guarantee together?
Yes, the court can ask for both a personal guarantee and a financial guarantee together. In Dubai, it is common for the Public Prosecution and Courts to impose both personal and financial guarantees as conditions for bail. The foreign defendant is typically required to surrender their passport as a mandatory condition for release. Additionally, they may be asked to provide personal guarantees from a third party and a financial guarantee, the amount of which is determined by the court’s discretion. The purpose of this is to ensure that while seizing the defendant’s passport may prevent them from leaving the United Arab Emirates, it does not guarantee their compliance with attending trial sessions and exhibiting good behavior throughout the proceedings. By requesting both types of guarantees, it creates an additional incentive for the defendant to remain committed and fulfill their obligations during the trial.
What is a surety bond (guarantee)?
A surety bond or guarantee is a document issued by the court and signed by the guarantor. The guarantor assumes responsibility for ensuring that the defendant complies with the bail conditions set by the court. The exact content of the bond may vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Still, it typically includes details such as the plaintiff’s charge, personal information of the defendant and guarantor, the terms of the undertaking, and the applicable penalty in case of violation. Under Article 113 of the Penal Code, the bail bond can be considered as an enforceable document, and any monetary obligations specified in it can be pursued in civil courts according to the Civil Procedure Code.
The sponsor’s responsibilities include ensuring the defendant’s presence when summoned by the investigating body or the court and ensuring the execution of any judgment issued against the defendant. The sponsor’s responsibility continues until the specific penalty approved by the court is carried out or if the defendant is acquitted. In many cases, the surety bond also includes the guarantor’s agreement to accept liability for any subsequent penalties, damages, or civil actions brought by the aggrieved party.
Can the sponsor be liable for sponsorship?
The sponsor can indeed be held liable under the sponsorship agreement. While it may initially appear that the surety’s liability is limited to the potential loss of the bail amount if the defendant breaches the bail conditions, it is important to consider the consequences if the defendant fails to meet the requirements of a judgment. In such cases, the sponsor may be personally and financially liable for fines or expenses, which can amount to significant sums.
If the guarantor is unable to fulfill their financial obligations under the bond, they may face extended custody or be required to pay the funds to enable the execution of the judgment. Therefore, anyone considering acting as a guarantor should fully understand the contents of the bail bond and the potential financial penalties associated with the relevant crime. It is advisable to have confidence in the accused’s commitment and behavior, ensuring they will attend court as required and fulfill their financial obligations, as stated in the surety bond.
In case of any doubts or concerns about your legal position and responsibilities as a sponsor, it is recommended to consult an attorney. Our company, FHS Law Firm, and Legal Consultancy, is a leading provider of comprehensive legal services and can assist you with any legal assistance related to companies, individuals, or disputes.