Unsolved Latents in AFIS/IAFIS

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Unsolved Latents in AFIS/IAFIS

Postby ER » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:33 pm

What written policies do your labs have about how long latents are kept in the UL/USL database for ongoing automated search?
Or what written policies do you have about removing them from the UL/USL database?
Any difference in the policy between local, state, or IAFIS?

Thanks in advance.
ER
 
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Re: Unsolved Latents in AFIS/IAFIS

Postby Bill Schade » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:48 am

Wouldn't the statute of limitations in your jurisdiction be the deciding factor?

Retention of case material is also covered by Records Retention guidelines of the state
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Re: Unsolved Latents in AFIS/IAFIS

Postby ER » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:08 am

Well, yes. But...

The statute can be unclear. One year for most misdemeanors, seven for felonies, no limit on homicide and sex crimes. But almost every property crime has different levels that could put it at 1 or 7. Also, if the bad guy is ever out of the state, then the clock stops running. And, the clock doesn't even start running until the authorities know who committed the crime.

Our management is curious to find out how other agencies spell this policy out.
ER
 
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Re: Unsolved Latents in AFIS/IAFIS

Postby ER » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:38 am

Anyone...

"We have no written policy" or "We never remove unsolved latents" are still answers that I'd be interested in knowing, if that's what you do.
ER
 
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Re: Unsolved Latents in AFIS/IAFIS

Postby sandra wiese » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:49 pm

We follow the state records retention laws. Basically everything except the big 'uns gets tossed after ten years. I've had two cases in 16 years where this was inconvenient to the prosecutor as the evidence/prints had been tossed after having reached the limit. One was a robbery, won an appeal waaaay after conviction. They retried him anyway, shockingly the jury still found him guilty. And no, no one ever had to testify as to why there was no evidence. The prosecutor just explained it to the jury. It's reasonable.

The other was a burglary, in this case no charges because the prints were destroyed and that was the only connecting evidence. It happens. The same way victims and witnesses sometimes move away and fail to notify the DA's office of their new contact information; cases are dismissed or delayed for that all the time.

Incidentally, we follow the ten year rule primarily because "ten years" or "forever" are the two longest retentions. Some cases (like trespass and MVT) have a much shorter statutory period of retention (3 years as I recall), but to sort through all our files every year to pull out just this case and just that case seems ridiculous so we stick to the ten year rule and that satisfies all requirements.
I keep 6 honest serving men
(they taught me all I knew)
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

-Rudyard Kipling
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