Technology is constantly moving forward. The military is consistently supplying the civilian world with innovative devices to assist in crime fighting and the fight against terrorism. Mobile fingerprinting devices are being used in several cities across the country, including some Baltimore suburbs.
As this article from the Washington Post discusses, technology for the mobile devices being used in Maryland and Virginia comes directly from the military. These devices, when used in police work, are useful in identifying both suspects and victims.
The Post outlines several cases where the devices were useful in identifying bodies or accident victims. However, police are most interested in using them to identify suspects who may be lying about their identity.
For now, the police can only scan someone’s fingerprints if they are under arrest or if they agree to submit. Interestingly, the officers interviewed said that have not had many refusals simply due to the fascination people have with the technology.
The scanners scan fingerprints or irises (eyes) and immediately compare them with prints already in the states database. If there is a match the scanner details who the person is and if there may be any active warrants for their arrest.
Often, people pulled over who know they have a warrant or are breaking the law by driving while their license is suspended will lie and state they don’t have identification. If they agree to be scanned, the police will likely be able to determine their identity and deal with the law violations immediately.
Opponents to these devices worry about potential abuses. Police pressuring people into submitting or not properly explaining that the scan is optional could cause some problems as criminal cases go to court.
Police have to be wary of civilian’s rights at every stage of an arrest. From a traffic stop to the investigation of more serious assault charges, they have a protocol that must be followed.
If you are facing criminal charges and need the assistance of a defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected at every stage of the game, call me. We can discuss the charges you are facing , potential outcomes, and the best way to approach the case.