A new program that launched in Texas requires all drivers to submit to a complete fingerprinting. Previous Texas regulations required only a thumbprint to be recorded.
State lawmakers claim that no legal approval was given to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to launch this program. Reasoning behind the fingerprinting measure is to protect against incorrect license distribution and due to concerns that terrorists will access driver's licenses to commit crimes.
Different Interpretation of Fingerprinting Law
One report claims that all fingerprints are run through a crime database to find potential matches in otherwise innocent citizens. A representative from the Texas Department of Public Safety has said that this is not true, and no prints obtained from driver's licenses are used to obtain criminal history. However, the prints are scanned in an unsolved print file that consists of fingerprint evidence found at crime scenes statewide.
This conflict of information is further complicated by the launch date of the program. It was officially posted as a rule to begin taking place in July, but complete fingerprint data was collected beginning in January.
A 2005 law allows the DPS to collect thumbprints or fingerprints. Fingerprints were included in the law in the event that thumbprints are unable to be collected, another finger could be used. The DPS interpreted the law to mean that full sets of fingerprints could be required.
Lawmakers express concern at this interpretation of the law, noting that requiring that a full set of fingerprints be run against a state database is being searched without due cause, a federal violation.
The running of fingerprints into a database can provide a whole other set of concerns for Texans. If you have recently been fully fingerprinted as a result of this new initiative, you may be brought up on criminal charges based on what may be located in a database.
If prior criminal involvement is a concern, or if you have been contacted due to alleged involvement in a crime, contact the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today. Our priority is to help those that may have had their rights violated get justice!