Yes, it is possible to have your fingerprints and police photo removed from the police central database. This does not mean that all record of you having been charged is destroyed. Rather, only the actual photograph and fingerprints are destroyed. The reason this is important is that it eliminates false positive matches. That is, police will no longer be able to use your photo in photo lineups, or try to match fingerprints obtained from crime scenes against your fingerprints.
You can request to have your fingerprints and police photo destroyed if your charges are withdrawn, you have been discharged, or you are found not guilty after trial. If you are convicted of the offence for which you are charged, you will not be eligible to have your fingerprints and photo destroyed. It can take up to 18 months to receive confirmation from the RCMP in Ottawa that the fingerprints and photographs have been destroyed, so the process can be quite drawn out.
Your fingerprints and police photo will not be destroyed unless you make an application to the police, as the destruction of records is not automatic, even where charges are withdrawn or where you are found not guilty.
Our office offers this service at a flat rate to client’s whose charges have been resolved without a criminal record, and if you find yourself in a similar situation, we can assist you as well.