Where a guilty plea is the most sensible option and how we help smooth the path..
In less serious criminal cases, it is sometimes more sensibly to enter a guilty plea even if the accused feels that they are innocent. If one pleads innocent, he will experience delays in the processing of his case. Such delays can be extensive, often up to six months or more. During this time, the accused will have to provide his passport to the police and therefore will not be able to return home and will not be able to seek employment. The costs of staying in the UAE with no ability to work will be high and where pleading innocent, a defence lawyer will need to be retained. In many cases, the result will end up being a guilty verdict anyway so it is quite a financial gamble to plead innocent, particularly where the sentencing for a guilty plea will be unlikely to result in detention.
Even where a guilty plea has been entered and no legal representation retained, the timeframes involved can be two months or more from the time of arrest until the passport is returned and travel is possible. During this time, the accused will need financing for his accommodation and expenses.
It is usually possible to negotiate smaller court appearances oneself though it can be quite daunting in a foreign country and in Arabic. However, even the humblest of legal fees can be extremely high so we provide assistance to a self representing client, rather than appointing a costly advocate. When a client contacts us, we make recommendations as to whether a guilty plea is preferable and advise them on their options after careful review of the case details. If we recommend that they plead guilty, we help by:
1. Applying for bail in the event of detention;
2. Attempting to have the charges dropped through discussions with the prosecutor;
If the prosecutor decides to proceed to Court, we:
3. Guide the client through the process;
4. Ensure that we have reviewed the prosecution´s files so that there are no surprises;
5. Work to ensure the fastest possible court hearing date is provided;
6. Provide the client with a letter in Arabic that they may present to the Judge to help persuade him to determine the most lenient sentencing possible;
7. Assist clients to pay any fines;
8. Expedite the court & police release process; and
9. Ensure the return of the passport and clearance to travel.
All in all, we try to eliminate the incredible stress that individuals feel when they wind up in the unexpected scenario of being charged in a foreign country. No matter how small the charge is, the process itself is stressful and bewildering and with so many questions that need answering, a consultant can be the best choice.
If the crime is more serious or where we feel a plea of innocent should be entered, we advise on all aspects of the case, recommend and work alongside trusted local lawyers.