Identification procedure

What should I do in the event I am asked to undergo an identification procedure?

As the accused in an inquiry, you might be subject to identification procedures (taking of photographs, fingerprints, measurements and other action concerning your body or parts of it, voice-recordings, video-recordings to be shown to witnesses for identification purposes etc) - provided there is enough evidence for you to commit similar or other offences in the future, and such procedures are proportionate to the seriousness of the offence alleged against you. Police officers, too, are authorized to order such procedures and, if necessary for their execution even to employ force without prior warning.

If your ID procedure deadline is a little later, you should contact your defence lawyer. He will advise you and, if necessary, move for a court decision on the lawfulness of the procedure. It is possible to apply for such decision ex post. Provided the procedure was ordered by a court, it is subject to appeal.

In any case, while undergoing an ID procedure, you should bear in mind the following:

during such procedures, criminal investigators will sometimes try and get you to make substantive statements, and they might do so in informal conversations. Even statements made in informal conversations will be put on record and can later on be used against you. So, while you are at the police station, do not let allow anything else than the ID procedure, and do not conduct conversations with the investigators present in the room.

In the context of ID procedures, the officers will occasionally ask the accused to give a saliva sample for genetic examination (DNA analysis). Whatever happens, you should always turn such requests down, as with voluntary delivery of saliva samples - the understanding of "voluntary" depends which way you look at it - there are limited options to protest against the storing of the analysis results. Genetic analysis may be carried out against your will only by the decision of a judge. Analysis results from samples taken without your consent are not applicable in the criminal trial.

Physical intervention such as taking blood samples is subject to different rules. Such intervention for the purpose of physical examination is executable when relevant to the proceeding and proportionate to the cause, and a court may decide to enforce it directly. In urgent cases, i.e., if there is a risk that a delay may frustrate the conduct of a trial, the public prosecutors and the police officers acting on their behalf are authorized to order, but not to execute such intervention. As such orders are usually executed immediately, a court can decide upon their lawfulness only post factum. You have the right to appeal against a court's decision. During the ID procedure we recommend you to behave as described in the above-mentioned guidelines.