All About Fingerprinting

Arrest Prints: Now-a-days, when a person is booked at a police station, it is rare to see police use the ink method to take their prints.

Why is that?  The simple answer is advanced technology.  Instead of rolling fingers and palms in ink, they are able roll them on a glass plate and a digital image is taken.  Once the digial image of the print is checked for quality control by a technician,  it is entered into the AFIS.

The Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems, or AFIS, is a national database that holds images of fingerprints that have been scanned in by computer.  A technician can search the AFIS to determine if the person has been arrested previously, has a warrant out for their arrest, or has provided false identifying information.  It usually take a few minutes for the AFIS to search over 5 Million fingerprint cards.  It then generates three closest matches to the fingerprints searched.  From there, the technician must compare the prints to make sure that are from the same person.

Latent Prints:

A latent print is print that is lifted off a surface (For example, a print that was taken off a window of evidence at at crime scene).  These prints can also be scanned in to see if they can be connected to a person in the AFIS.

In CSI TV shows you see the person scan a print into the computer and a moment later a picture of the suspect pops up with all their information.  Well in real life, when a techinician scans a prints into AFIS, it can take awhile.  The technician must compare the unknown latent print with known prints of an individual and get a what is called an “AFIS hit.”

If you have questions about DNA evidence pertaining to your case contact Ambrose Law Group at  (248) 624-5500



Filed under Forensic Evidence

2 responses to “All About Fingerprinting

  1. Jill

    I love your blogs — I always learn nifty things.

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