Law Enforcement: Identity Verification

Mistaken Identity Scenario

Criminals have a tendency to use false identification. Mistaken identities are a growing concern for
law enforcement.

During the initial stages of an investigation, both time and information are limited. Law enforcement agencies need every available data resource at their disposal to quickly locate suspects, witnesses and fugitives.



  • The collection of too few core identity attributes may lead
    to misidentification.

  • “A mistaken identity arrest occurs almost every day, said policing experts and officials at the National Association of Criminal
    Defense Lawyers.”

    – CNN News

  • Fact: Mistaken identity arrests are a growing concern within the law enforcement community.

Traditional law enforcement background check services can take days to provide crucial information. That doesn't work when police pull over or arrest a person, and they don't have a driver's license with them or have a fraudulent ID. If that person is released, law enforcement has no way of collecting on the fines, whether it's a speeding ticket or something more serious.

Police officers, like most everyone else, believe that fingerprints are the be-all-end-all of ID. That's simply not the case. There is a point in the process where those physical fingerprints are connected to an identity. Those false pairings then end up in local data stores and national databases.

Hundreds of individuals are also being jailed across the America as law enforcement personnel are misled or because there is no current solution to help officers identify who an individual actually is. In one case, authorities arrested an 18-year-old when they were searching for a man 30 years older. Another man was jailed twice on a warrant for second-degree burglary and sexual assault even though his tattoos didn't match the real suspect's tattoos, described in the arrest warrant. "I missed five full days of work and lost five days of wages due to my first mistaken identity arrest," one man stated in a declaration filed with the court.

The wrongful arrests across America occurred for a variety of reasons. Often those wrongly held had the same names as criminals, but authorities failed to check their dates of birth. Some were wrongly arrested because their identities had been stolen. In other cases, the last name matched but not the first or middle. It often took days and sometimes weeks before authorities realized they had the wrong person behind bars.

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