I Was Told I Have To Go For Fingerprints. What Happens If I Do Not Go?

By Last Updated: March 16, 2022

When you are arrested and released, you will typically receive documents that direct you to attend a police station for fingerprints, as well as documents that direct you to attend court on a particular date, place, and time. You must comply with all of the directions in these documents.

Specifically, if you have received documents that indicate that you have to go to court, you have to go. Failure to attend court on the date specified in your release document will probably result in your being charged with the criminal offence of failing to appear. In addition, a warrant may issue for your arrest. If you have received a subpoena that indicates that you are required to attend court on a particular date as a witness, and you do not attend, a warrant may issue and you may be charged with obstruction of justice. If you are unsure about your legal obligations, it is always best to seek legal advice to determine what is required of you in order to avoid getting into further trouble with the law.

In addition  To be sure, check your paperwork for a date to attend a police station for “identification”.  This is just another way of saying that you have to go for fingerprints.  If your paperwork states that you have to attend the station for fingerprinting or for identification and you fail to go, you will be charged with a criminal offence. A warrant will also likely issue for your arrest.

Note that unlike the court appearance listed in the documents, you do not have to go for fingerprints on the specific day set out in your release documents. If it is more convenient, you can attend the location set out in your release documents during business hours on any day prior to the listed date. Make sure that you do not miss your deadline for fingerprinting or you will be charged. Don’t worry about the police keeping your fingerprints forever.  If you are not convicted of the offence for which you are charged, you can make an application to have your fingerprints destroyed.

If you missed your fingerprinting or court date:

If you missed your fingerprints or court date, a warrant has likely issued for your arrest. If you do not have a lawyer, you will need to go to the police station to turn yourself in. The police will then decide whether to re-release you, and on what conditions. Further, you will be charged with the criminal offence of failing to appear. Sometimes hiring a lawyer can help avoid the need to turn yourself in. If you contact one of our lawyers, we can immediately speak with a Crown Prosecutor and try to have the matter brought before the court and deal with the warrant without having to turn yourself in.  Please contact us so we can discuss the circumstances of your case, and help you determine the best course of action for you to take.

About The Author

Michael Oykhman

Managing Partner

Michael Oykhman is a senior lawyer and founder of Strategic Criminal Defence, a full-service criminal law firm with central law offices across Western Canada and Ontario.

My professional experience consists of countless court appearances and thousands of successful defences and satisfied clients. Over the last 10 years, I have worked to build a law office where all the lawyers share our collective experience, resources, and passion to help people. Our team approach to legal representation is client–rather than only law–centred. We look for opportunities to add value to our clients through strategic thinking and creative solutions.

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