Can your fingerprints be found by police even if you have no criminal record? 34 Answers as of June 07, 2013

When you receive your driver's licenses you take a fingerprint. Can this fingerprint be found in police systems? For instance if this fingerprint is found, would they be able to find you even if you had no criminal record?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Yes, police can get fingerprints from other sources as part of their investigation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/8/2011
Levine & McHenry LLC
Levine & McHenry LLC | Matthew McHenry
If your prints are in file with a state agency such as the DMV, then the police likely have access to them.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 10/21/2011
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
Fingerprints are usually only kept in the system for a limited time (such as six months) and then destroyed unless they are ordered to keep them on record as part of a court order for certain people convicted of crimes.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/20/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
If the police have your fingerprints on file regardless of whether you have a criminal record then yes they can use those records.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/17/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
If any agency has a copy of your fingerprints, chances are that they are in the data base. If police do not have your fingerprints, but suspect you in any criminal activity, they can compell you to provide a copy of your fingerprints for comparison.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 10/17/2011
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Armand Fried
    If your fingerprints are in a government database, they can and probably will be found by the police.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/14/2011
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    Depends on how well the police investigate. What are you worried about?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/14/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    I don't believe DMV requires fingerprints in NH. However, if you have ever consented to a fingerprint for military, child safety, any reason that print will be on file in the government. The prints that the government collects will not be destroyed. Alternatively, the fingerprinting system is really not full proof. The best they can do is find possible matches and then have an analyst look at them to find degrees of similarity. Prints are often smudged or imperfect. Fingerprinting is really not infallible. Read about Brandon Mayfield the supposed Madrid bomber.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 10/14/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    It depends on whether the police can get access to those fingerprints often the way the agencies are set up they can't do it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Russman Law
    Russman Law | Ryan Russman
    The fingerprint becomes a part of your DMV record. Police are able to search this data for information about you.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2013
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    In Michigan you don't get fingerprinted when you get a driver's license. If the police don't have your prints, they would not be in their system and hence you would not be found through your prints.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Yes. You can't imagine how many times your fingerprints have been recorded - ie. military, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2013
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, but I don't recall Michigan taking fingerprints when drivers licenses are issued.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The police can get your prints from a crime scene but unless they have your prints on file from a previous conviction they will not be able to make a positive match. If they suspect that a person committed a crime they can get a judge to force a suspect to give his fingerprints, DNA, blood, or hair to teat.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    The police can check any government and most private data bases for fingerprints. If your fingerprint is of the finger that it is being compared to then they can find it. The police will need more evidence that a fingerprint to convict a person. After DNA has proven that fingerprints are not 100 per cent right, a good attorney with up to date knowledge would tear fingerprint evidence apart.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I don't think so.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    I do not believe that fingerprints collected by the DMV would be present in the data base used by the law enforcement authorities. I doubt they can trace the prints in connection with a criminal matter.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    There is a national database for fingerprints and if you had yours taken you're probably in the system and could be identified if the police have fingerprints and are looking for whose they are. But fingerprints are often not usable because the prints are not complete or are smudged or something. The cops on TV make it look like they can track down anyone but more often than not fingerprints aren't the method of identification.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Yes, the FBI compile all these fingerprints into a huge "big brother" database.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/7/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    In order to match a fingerprint to one found at the scene of a crime, that fingerprint needs to be in some database available to the police. Available databases include, but are not limited to, prior booking or conviction records. I am not aware of such a database being generated from obtaining a driver's licenses in Minnesota. Databases are however generated by the military and may result from certain types of employment.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    If you have never been arrested, the only print the police would have would be your single thumbprint taken when you get your license. DPS does have this print available to them and presumably they could share it.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    You do not give fingerprints to get your license so unless you been arrested before, the police should not have your fingerprints.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law
    Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law | Theresa Hofmeister
    Yes, if DMV takes fingerprints (or A fingerprint) and that same fingerprint on file is matched to a print at a scene or on an object, sure they can match that. If on file is only one fingerprint and the found-print is a print of another finger (i.e. a different finger of the same person) probably not. That is my understanding of forensics anyway. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    In California, yes the fingerprints are kept in a statewide database maintained by the California Department of Justice. That is the same database that police use to compare fingerprints. It is important to understand that fingerprints are not left as often as the general public think. In fact the vast majority of cases do not include fingerprints. And when prints are found they are often not good enough to be used for comparison. A good defense attorney can show that fingerprints are unreliable and not as scientific as everyone thinks they are.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    The driver's license information is accessible to law enforcement, so they likely could use that information to try and match fingerprints found during a criminal invetigation.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    No the police do not use the DMV database to find fingerprints and in fact fingerprints are rarely looked for at a crime scene. However there are many ways the police can get your fingerprints.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    Yes, the same is true for when you are fingerprinted by the FBI for immigration purposes. However, due to the faulty system of fingerprint identification, if you are identified by fingerprints as the perpetrator of a crime, your attorney should consult with an expert as part of the defense.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    If your fingerprints have been submitted to a government agency (military, firearm permit, criminal background check), it is possible to procure a copy of those prints in order to compare them to prints from a crime scene.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    If your fingerprints are in a system to which the cips have access and they access that system, they can match your finger prints. One's criminal record or lak thereof is not a relevant consideration.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    This depends upon whether your fingerprint was ever entered into the AFIS system used by law enforcement. I would have no idea if your prints are in the system, they can be entered by law enforcement for a variety of reasons or purposes including a criminal case.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    If they took your fingerprinting at the time they issued you a license, then most definitely it can be found, especially in this age of computer technology.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Most likely your prints are on file in the APIS system. This system is available to law enforcement and contains digitized fingerprint data. Chances are, most of us are in that system if we have ever been fingerprinted. Welcome to a brave new world. Next stop, DNA databases.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/12/2011
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