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Do I have to go for fingerprinting?

Question
Do I have to go for fingerprinting?

Glossary

Clear language definitions to common legal terms. 

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Reviewed: 
December, 2016
Answer

What the police are allowed to do

You must give the police your fingerprints if you're charged with or convicted of an offence for which you could go to jail for 2 years or more. This includes indictable offences and hybrid offences.

You have to give the police your fingerprints even if you weren't convicted of the offence. The Identification of Criminals Act gives the police this power.

You don't have to give the police your fingerprints if you're charged with an offence that can only be considered a summary offence.  

Get your fingerprints taken

If you've been arrested but not held in custody, the police will give you a release document. To find out if you have to go for fingerprinting and photos, read your release document. It will tell you where and when to go to have your fingerprints and photos taken. You must keep the appointment indicated on your release document.

If you miss your appointment, you could be arrested, held, and charged with another offence. The police can use reasonable force to take your fingerprints and photos if you don't co-operate.

Ask for your fingerprints to be destroyed

Your fingerprints and photos will be kept as police records. If you're not convicted of the offence, you can ask the police to destroy your fingerprint records and photos.

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