As explained in a prior blog, New York State law requires, with some limited exceptions, that an individual be fingerprinted when he is arrested for (1) a felony; (2) a misdemeanor defined in the New York State Penal Law; (3) a misdemeanor defined outside the New York State Penal Law if the misdemeanor would be a felony because the individual has a prior criminal conviction; or (4) loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution under Penal Law 240.37(2). [See CPL 160.10(1)].
However, upon the arraignment of a defendant whose court attendance has been secured by the issuance and service of a summons based upon an information or misdemeanor complaint filed by a complainant who is not a police officer, the court may, if it finds reasonable cause to believe the defendant committed one of the “printable” offenses listed above, order that the defendant be fingerprinted. [CPL 130.60(2)].
Therefore, where a defendant appears in court pursuant to a properly served summons and that summons is based upon an information or misdemeanor complaint filed by a complainant who is not a police officer, defense counsel should object to the printing of the defendant absent a finding by the court of reasonable cause to believe the defendant committed one of the printable offenses listed above. Furthermore, defense counsel should further object to defendant’s printing arguing to the court that, under the statute [CPL 130.60(2)], even if the court finds reasonable cause, it “may” but need not order that the defendant be printed. The clear wording of the statute makes the fingerprinting of the defendant discretionary even where the court finds reasonable cause to believe the defendant committed a printable offense.
For more information about this or any other criminal law issue, feel free to contact Tilem & Campbell toll free at 1-877-377-8666 or visit us on the web at www.888AnyCrime.com.