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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 15 - 2 - 24 §15-2-24. Criminal identification bureau; establishment; supervision; purpose; fingerprints, photographs, records and other information; reports by courts and prosecuting attorneys; offenses and penalties.
(a) The superintendent of the department shall establish, equip and maintain at the departmental headquarters a criminal identification bureau, for the purpose of receiving and filing fingerprints, photographs, records and other information pertaining to the investigation of crime and the apprehension of criminals, as hereinafter provided. The superintendent shall appoint or designate a supervisor to be in charge of the criminal identification bureau and such supervisor shall be responsible to the superintendent for the affairs of the bureau. Members of the department assigned to the criminal identification bureau shall carry out their duties and assignments in accordance with internal management rules and regulations pertaining thereto promulgated by the superintendent.

(b) The criminal identification bureau shall cooperate with identification bureaus of other states and of the United States to develop and carry on a complete interstate, national and international system of criminal identification.

(c) The criminal identification bureau may furnish fingerprints, photographs, records or other information to authorized law-enforcement and governmental agencies of the United States and its territories, of foreign countries duly authorized to receive the same, of other states within the United States and of the state of West Virginia upon proper request stating that the fingerprints, photographs, records or other information requested are necessary in the interest of and will be used solely in the administration of official duties and the criminal laws.

(d) The criminal identification bureau may furnish, with the approval of the superintendent, fingerprints, photographs, records or other information to any private or public agency, person, firm, association, corporation or other organization, other than a law-enforcement or governmental agency as to which the provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall govern and control, but all requests under the provisions of this subsection (d) for such fingerprints, photographs, records or other information must be accompanied by a written authorization signed and acknowledged by the person whose fingerprints, photographs, records or other information is to be released.

(e) The criminal identification bureau may furnish fingerprints, photographs, records and other information of persons arrested or sought to be arrested in this state to the identification bureau of the United States government and to other states for the purpose of aiding law enforcement.

(f) Persons in charge of any penal or correctional institution, including any city or county jail in this state, shall take, or cause to be taken, the fingerprints and description of all persons lawfully committed thereto or confined therein and furnish the same in duplicate to the criminal identification bureau, department of public safety. Such fingerprints shall be taken on forms approved by the superintendent of the department of public safety. All such officials as herein named may, when possible to do so, furnish photographs to the criminal identification bureau of such persons so fingerprinted.

(g) Members of the department of public safety, and all other state law-enforcement officials, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and each and every peace officer in this state, shall take or cause to be taken the fingerprints and description of all persons arrested or detained by them, charged with any crime or offense in this state, in which the penalty provided therefor is confinement in any penal or correctional institution, or of any person who they have reason to believe is a fugitive from justice or an habitual criminal, and furnish the same in duplicate to the criminal identification bureau of the department of public safety on forms approved by the superintendent of said department. Allsuch officials as herein named may, when possible to do so, furnish to the criminal identification bureau, photographs of such persons so fingerprinted. For the purpose of obtaining data for the preparation and submission to the governor and the Legislature by the department of public safety of an annual statistical report on crime conditions in the state, the clerk of any court of record, the magistrate of any magistrate court and the mayor or clerk of any municipal court before which a person appears on any criminal charge shall report to the criminal identification bureau the sentence of the court or other disposition of the charge and the prosecuting attorney of every county shall report to the criminal identification bureau such additional information as the bureau may require for such purpose, and all such reports shall be on forms prepared and distributed by the department of public safety, shall be submitted monthly and shall cover the period of the preceding month.

(h) All persons arrested or detained pursuant to the requirements of this article shall give fingerprints and information required by subsections (f) and (g) of this section. Any person who has been fingerprinted or photographed in accordance with the provisions of this section, who is acquitted of the charges upon which he or she was arrested, and who has no previous criminal record, may, upon the presentation of satisfactory proof to the department, have such fingerprints or photographs, or both, returned to them.

(i) All state, county and municipal law-enforcement agencies shall submit to the bureau uniform crime reports setting forth their activities in connection with law enforcement. It shall be the duty of the bureau to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations prescribing the form, general content, time and manner of submission of such uniform crime reports. Willful or repeated failure by any state, county or municipal law- enforcement official to submit the uniform crime reports required by this article shall constitute neglect of duty in public office. The bureau shall correlate the reports submitted to it and shall compile and submit to the governor and the Legislature semiannual reports based on such reports. A copy of such reports shall be furnished to all prosecuting attorneys and law- enforcement agencies.

(j) Neglect or refusal of any person mentioned in this section to make the report required herein, or to do or perform any act on his or her part to be done or performed in connection with the operation of this section, shall constitute a misdemeanor, and such person shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than sixty days, or both. Such neglect shall constitute misfeasance in office and subject such persons to removal from office. Any person who willfully removes, destroys or mutilates any of the fingerprints, photographs, records or other information of the department of public safety, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and such person shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than six months, or both.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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