Support Operations - What Crimes are Fingerprinted?

What Crimes are Fingerprinted?

A criminal history starts with the arresting agency. All criminal histories begin with a fingerprint card. If no fingerprints are taken and submitted to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), there will be no criminal history on the subject for that arrest, or taken into custody in the case of a juvenile.


Simple Misdemeanors:

  • According to Iowa Code 690.2, fingerprints are required upon conviction of a simple misdemeanor. If a defendant is convicted by a court of this state of an offense which is a simple misdemeanor subject to an enhanced penalty for conviction of a second or subsequent offense, a serious misdemeanor, an aggravated misdemeanor or felony, the court shall determine proceedings leading to the conviction and if not, shall order that the defendant be fingerprinted and those prints submitted to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
  • Some of the more common simple misdemeanors that will be required upon conviction are:
    • Public Intoxication
    • Harassment
    • Theft 5th Degree
    • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
    • Domestic Abuse – simple, is an exception. Fingerprinting all domestic abuse charges at time of arrest would ensure the charge would be on the criminal history no matter the disposition of the court. This can be used as a prohibitor for obtaining a gun permit.
  • Juveniles CANNOT be printed on any simple misdemeanor charges.


Serious, Aggravated Misdemeanor and Felony Charges:

  • All are required at time of arrest to be fingerprinted. Any cite and release cases have a greater chance of not being printed at time of conviction; therefore, not be found on an individual’s Iowa criminal history record.
  • Juveniles SHALL be printed on all serious and above charges at time of being taken into custody.

Probation Violations and Parole Revocations:

  • The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation does not keep fingerprint cards for probation violations or parole revocations due to they are not original charges. They are actually violating court requirements.

Contempt of Court Warrants:

  • These would not be printed due to they should have been printed on the original charge at the time of arrest. If you know they were not printed, print them for the original charge and submit the original charge arrest fingerprint card to the DCI. This will guarantee the charge will be on the individual’s criminal history record.

Another key reason to submit fingerprint cards at the time a person is arrested or a juvenile is taken into custody, is that prints may hit on latent prints submitted or also-known-as (AKA) identities can be learned and added to the subject’s criminal history record. Wanted people have been discovered this way. A very important field on the fingerprint card for officer safety is the caution field – suicidal, known to be armed/carry weapon, know to assault officers. If no prints are submitted, those cautions will not be added to their criminal history record, if there are any.

The core function of tracking criminal histories is the first line of defense for public and officer safety. The DCI receives numerous requests for criminal histories for a variety of reasons. Peace officers make up a small percentage of those requests. Judges and pre-sentence investigators use criminal history information when making bond and sentencing decisions. Day care centers, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, housing complexes, factories and countless other businesses request criminal history information from the DCI on a daily basis. If a subject applies for a job with a day care center and no criminal history exists showing this subject has been convicted of a theft, the day care center has no way of knowing they should be aware of that individuals past troubles.