Police Fingerprint and Photograph Records

If the police have arrested you, they will take your fingerprints and photographs for identification purposes. If they decide to let you go (usually on a Promise to Appear), the police may give you an “identification date” as well as your court date. It’s usually located on the right side of the police paperwork. If you do not show up to the identification date, you may be charged with an offence of failing to appear.

That said, what happens to those records if you beat your charges? The police may keep those records on file even if:

  • the Crown enters a stay of proceedings;
  • you complete diversion;
  • you are sentenced to a discharge;
  • or a judge acquits you at trial.

You have to apply to have the records destroyed if you are not convicted of an offence and you are no longer pending on charges. People that are accused of a crime are often surprised to find that this process is not automatic. Most police service agencies in Canada have an application process per the agency policy. Unfortunately, the Winnipeg Police Service has discontinued the formal process for requesting your fingerprints and photographs be destroyed.

This option is only available if you are not convicted of your charges. If you’d like me to assist you with your charges, please contact me at (204) 415-5544 ext 7. 

Photo credit to Immo Wegmann.