Fingerprinting of Persons Detained and Cited For Committing Suspected in Nevada – N.R.S. 171.1229

Having your fingerprints on file can feel like an invasion of your privacy. It also gives law enforcement access to your information in a searchable database. It is important to know what circumstances justify law enforcement officials collecting your fingerprint information from you.  Myriad statutes in Nevada address when fingerprints may be collected, including when a person accused of a domestic violence offense must be fingerprinted.

If you are accused of domestic violence or any offense in which police put your information into the system, you should speak with a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At LV Criminal Defense, we will work hard to help you to maintain your privacy and minimize law enforcement data collection. We also provide representation to clients facing accusations of domestic violence or other criminal charges as well as assistance to clients who want their fingerprints removed from the system.  Call today to learn more about the services we provide in state and federal criminal cases.

What Are the Rules for Fingerprinting Persons Detained

According to Nevada Revised Statute Section 171.1229, a peace officer who detains a person for a misdemeanor domestic violence crime must obtain at least one fingerprint of the suspect.  If an officer issues a citation instead of detaining the suspect or taking him before a magistrate, the officer is also required to obtain at least one fingerprint.  The fingerprint(s) obtained must be forwarded to a Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History.

Domestic violence offenses that can lead to fingerprinting under this law are defined in N.R.S. 33.018, and include certain criminal behaviors against a romantic partner, against person whom you have or had a dating relationship with, against another parent of a shared child; or against a legal guardian of your minor children.  Assault, battery, compelling acts by force, sexual assault, stalking, trespassing, arson, injuring or killing an animal, larceny, and destruction of private property can all be considered forms of domestic violence when perpetrated against someone you are close to.

Domestic Violence Charges and Fingerprinting

Domestic violence cases are often complicated cases because the alleged victim and alleged abuser have a close family relationship and generally a long history of intimate ties. Such cases also often rely on whose version of events is more credible. For example, when a fight escalates out of hand, an accusation of domestic violence may arise but it may be difficult or impossible to know who was the aggressor and who was engaging in self defense. Divorce, separation, and custody disputes can also trigger false accusations of domestic violence, as one party may believe such accusations are an advantage in court proceedings.

Because it is possible for you to be falsely or unjustly accused of domestic violence, it is essential you demand access to an attorney right away.  Your attorney can help you to determine if the peace officer is acting lawfully in arresting, detaining, or citing you and can provide guidance on how best to avoid being fingerprinted or on having your fingerprints removed.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


Once your  information has been put into the database, you will need to go through a formal process of having the fingerprints removed. NRS 179A.160 provides details under which you may have records removed, including when your case has been dismissed or when you have been acquitted.

How a Nevada Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help

A Nevada domestic violence criminal lawyer will work hard to help you to get a case dismissed or to assist in fighting charges or negotiating a plea agreement. You want to protect yourself from criminal penalties, including being left with a record that could show up in background checks and adversely affect your future. Call today to learn more about how LV Criminal Defense can help.