kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 iguana)
[personal profile] kaigou
If the police/authorities bring someone in for questioning, but have not charge the person with a crime, can they take fingerprints? Or is that considered invasive or violating rights or potential self-incrimination if they do so before formally charging the person?

...Not just the US, that is, if you're not US and you have any vague idea of the procedure where you live, then I'd be curious to hear that, too. Mostly because I like police procedural dramas, in any language, and the "we think he's this guy (or he looks just like this other guy)" mistaken identity (or non-mistaken undercover schtick) is a common plot-step the world over, it seems. And since that would so easily be cleared up by a set of freaking fingerprints, I'm wondering when I should see the non-fingerprinting as accurate for a culture, versus a plot-hole.

Date: 4 Feb 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
starscream: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starscream
Granted this came from Advice.org and as well is from the UK, it does answer your one question.

If you have been arrested, the police have the power to take your fingerprints, photographs and a DNA sample.

Even if you are not convicted of an offence, the police currently have the power to keep your fingerprints and DNA sample on a DNA database.

But the government are suggesting a change to this law. This is because keeping your fingerprints and DNA on a database has been found to be a breach of your human rights.

Date: 4 Feb 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
starscream: ([Reborn] Reborn; Mafia)
From: [personal profile] starscream
The cop comm will likely give you a straight answer too. I'd imagine they strive to try and show people that they shouldn't fear cops and try to squish a lot of misinformation.

Ahaha I just haven't had anything to post about. It's one of those things like, I always have the page open to say something and... nothing comes from my fingers. The last time I made a series of posts was when I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life, so. :D

Date: 4 Feb 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
starscream: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starscream
I should have snapped one earlier when Samus was asleep on my coat and kept meowing at me anytime I came near.

Date: 5 Feb 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
starscream: ([Zelda] Link; Fish)
From: [personal profile] starscream
I will next time one of them is being too cute to resist.

I've hit that point where I always see things I need to reply to / say something about and I file it away with, "Well once I finish what I'm doing I'll go to it." Then of course by the time I am free enough to do it, I've completely forgotten about it. :') That's happening to me a LOT lately it seems.

Date: 4 Feb 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
tesserae: white poppies in the sun (Default)
From: [personal profile] tesserae
There's an lj comm called ask_a_cop. You might ask there; it seems to be monitored by any number of cops.

In California, we are routinely asked for a thumbprint when we apply for or renew a driver's license - so theoretically, we're all in the database already.

Date: 5 Feb 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
From: [personal profile] qem_chibati
I remember it came up with the pubs wanting to take fingerprints to cut down on violence, here in Australia.


http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/you-want-a-drink-give-us-your-fingerprints-20110131-1a9zr.html

Biometric scanners, once the domain of James Bond movies, are flooding the pub market as the fix-all solution to violence and antisocial behaviour. The pubs are exerting more power than the police or airport security by demanding photos, fingerprints and ID. Police can only do it if they suspect someone of committing a crime and they must destroy the data if the person is not charged or found not guilty.

Date: 5 Feb 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
maat_seshat: Shuurei seated at a desk, studying, with Kouyuu leaning in behind her. (Shuurei studying)
From: [personal profile] maat_seshat
I'm 99% sure that the police demanding fingerprints in the absence of an arrest is technically an "unreasonable search" in US law. This does not of course prevent them from 'inviting' a suspect to voluntarily give fingerprints or from sneakily getting them off of a mug they give the suspect (the first would be what I know from reality, while the second is a favorite on procedurals), but requiring the fingerprints in the absence of an arrest or court order has generally been judged a violation of civil rights, I believe.

I...don't actually know about Japan. Huh.

Date: 6 Feb 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
love: (Default)
From: [personal profile] love
My fingerprints are on file in Japan. I had to give them the prints in order to get police clearance.

Date: 6 Feb 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
maat_seshat: Winged Maat sitting (Default)
From: [personal profile] maat_seshat
They took mine, too, to get into the country, and they're probably still on file. I just wondered if citizens got more protection. What do you mean by police clearance?

Date: 6 Feb 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
maat_seshat: Winged Maat sitting (Default)
From: [personal profile] maat_seshat
I fail at clarity. To get into Japan, I meant. I think the requirement has been around for a while; Japan has a pretty strong thread of "but the foreigners do it" in its discourse about crime.

Date: 6 Feb 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
love: (Default)
From: [personal profile] love
I suspect that people would give their fingerprints willingly in order to be cleared off the list of suspects.

I needed a letter from the Japanese police stating that I was a person of good conduct in order to get a US immigration visa. I also had to get one from Malaysia because I'm Malaysian.

Date: 5 Feb 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
mongrelheart: (among the stars)
From: [personal profile] mongrelheart
I read that the police may ask people to give their fingerprints so they can eliminate them from a list of suspects. If the person refuses, they can get a warrant to require them to give fingerprints. They don't have to be in custody or charged with a crime.

They might already have them even if the person has never been charged with a crime, as many jobs (especially govt jobs) require fingerprints to be submitted.

Date: 7 Feb 2011 06:19 pm (UTC)
mongrelheart: (among the stars)
From: [personal profile] mongrelheart
Ah, just read your post in the cops community, & the replies. I didn't realize that if you are being questioned, that it *is* an arrest.

Presumably if the person refused to voluntarily give their fingerprints, and they do have enough probable cause to obtain a warrant, and the person is then compelled to give fingerprints, they are considered to be under arrest while doing so.

Date: 5 Feb 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
ticktocktober: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ticktocktober
Asked My Dad, The Cop, and he confirmed that unless they'be been arrested, they aren't compelled to give fingerprints, DNA, or anything of that sort; it's all voluntary.

Date: 5 Feb 2011 05:07 am (UTC)
ticktocktober: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ticktocktober
Just to clarify, I can only vouch for the state of Virginia.

Date: 6 Feb 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
love: (Default)
From: [personal profile] love
If they haven't charged you with a crime, they can't take fingerprints (officially). I've seen police dramas where they give you a glass of water and then take that away and have the prints lifted from it. I don't know if that's actually legal and would consult someone who actually is a lawyer or a cop.

This sounds like a good question for Littledetails on LJ...

Date: 6 Feb 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nnayram.livejournal.com
Depends on the country and on the person. If it were the EU and it was a EU citizen, I believe they might already have the fingerprints on file. My country, a new EU member state, introduced new ID cards that incorporate the fingerprint information in. I had to go the consulate in NYC and have my fingerprints taken when I was renewing my about-to-expire ID card. Technically, you don't have to renew your documentation until it expires, though, so it *is* possible that the information is only on file for people who have had to get new ID cards issued for whatever reason.

Also, certain countries would not require the fingerprints of visitors already in the country since they'd have them on file: see http://stallman.org/bad-border-policy-countries.html.

You might be interested in this wiki article, even though the information is not always mentioned: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_identity_card_policies_by_country