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#117750 - 12/14/18 04:06 PM Question for the Americans here.
Rob Taylor Offline
pledge


Registered: 03/14/14
Posts: 58
Loc: England, Surrey
Good evening. I joined the police force in 2002 and when I arrested someone, they were brought to the custody suite and processed. They were then interviewed then I'd start to build the case. If there was sufficient evidence, the prisoner would be charged. A court date would be arranged then the prisoner would be finger printed, photographed and DNA taken. Then they were either bailed to court or kept in the cell.
This changed shortly afterwards. Probably 2004 ish, when I arrested someone, they were processed in the custody suite as normal, but their finger prints, photo and DNA were taken prior to interview (unless it was a traffic matter). Now I didn't like or agree with this approach. The reason being is that potentially you can be completely innocent when arrested, like when someone makes a malicious allegation. Your DNA and prints are on record, even though you haven't been charged with any crime.
This is the UK, but what is the process in the US? And while we're here, any other countries?

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#117752 - 12/14/18 11:48 PM Re: Question for the Americans here. [Re: Rob Taylor]
JadeSpider Offline
lurker


Registered: 12/02/18
Posts: 4
The process in the USA is very much the same as the current process which you described. Once a suspect is apprehended they are transported to a holding facility or jail where they are photographed, fingerprinted, and formally identified. The suspect then meets with a judge where charges are formally laid against him or her and bail is set (or not depending).

As you said, the subjects fingerprints and DNA in some cases are taken and put on file prior of them being found guilty of any crime. I understand the concern that some may have in this process but at the same time the fingerprints and DNA are items of great forensic importance and could be quickly used to either confirm or deny the allegations against a person.

Perhaps the error does not lie so much in the matters leading up to the trial but more in what happens afterwards. For example, if one was arrested and their DNA and fingerprints were taken but later that person was found to be innocent then the corresponding forensic identifiers would be destroyed and erased from the system.

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#117759 - 12/15/18 03:53 PM Re: Question for the Americans here. [Re: JadeSpider]
Rob Taylor Offline
pledge


Registered: 03/14/14
Posts: 58
Loc: England, Surrey
I understand what you're saying here and I must agree. I suppose the example I just run through in my head was that if someone who had never before been processed through the system of that specific country (an immigrant for example) gets arrested falsely due to a dodgy neighbour dispute and a non legit assault allegation, if his prints or DNA match those found at the scene of a burglary that happened a few months prior, then at least he could be put onto the intelligence systems to track (probably near impossible to charge in UK solely down to DNA or prints).
Out of curiosity, how long can you detain someone uncharged in the US, or is it more of a state policy?

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#117760 - 12/15/18 04:19 PM Re: Question for the Americans here. [Re: Rob Taylor]
JadeSpider Offline
lurker


Registered: 12/02/18
Posts: 4
Well, I would think that if a person was arrested for an irrelevant event but then was found to have forensic evidence linking them to a crime they would still be guilty of that crime and it would then be in line to charge them or investigate further. I have no issue with that.

In general one can be held for up to 24 hours without charges being formally brought against them but the police can apply for an extension from a judge if the subject is suspected of a particularly heinous crime such as murder. This extension will normally manifest itself as an additional 12 to 72 hours. However, if one is arrested under suspicion of terrorism they can be held for 14 days with no official charges being brought against them.

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