Getting Arrested without ID

I take it that you’ve never heard of the FBI.

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/fingerprints_biometrics/iafis/iafis

No?

To add to the response up thread re: would the police charge you with obstruction or something similar even after determining that you were not a reasonable suspect; in my experience and limited to my former jurisdiction, when we faced the issue of an individual who was arrested but had no ID and refused to provide any, we would simply charge as “John Doe Details Refused”. (Positive ID for the charge was provided by the prints which were taken at booking and included with the arraignment documents)
The prosecutor, upon arraignment, would present this to the Court whereupon the Judge would explain the legal requirement to provide proof of identity. If the person then continued to refuse they were held in Contempt and became the Court’s problem. I have no idea how long they could then be held but they were in much deeper legal waters at that point as they were refusing a legal demand of the Court, an entirely different matter from giving Officer Friendly the finger.
I’m fairly sure the legal system would take a much greater degree of umbrage at being refused on a fairly trivial legal matter and appeals and suits based upon such would have little if any traction as opposed to those noted above where the police would be the respondents.

I take it you didn’t read his post, which specifically mentioned AFIS.

AFIS is sans quite a few prints, both criminal and civil. Just because it has a lot doesn’t mean it has all.

There have been a couple of cases, one involving a serial killer, where prints at the scene did not solve the crime because the criminal (while having priors) did not have their prints entered into AFIS. Getting arrested/convicted of a crime is not a guarantee that ones prints will be entered into that system. Nor is the application of a state professional license that requires prints. This is a huge flaw in the AFIS system.

Well, it’s not a flaw, exactly. A state can opt to submit those prints (and most do.) They just don’t have to. As a state licensee, I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable having my prints sent to the FBI along with those of a bunch of hoodlums (though in reality my prints are almost certainly already in AFIS because I have a green card.)

Minor tangent based off of the discussion of the completeness of the fingerprint database: I’ve been fingerprinted for two job interviews (one for the State of Georgia, the other for the USPS). Would those prints have been entered into a database that the police have access to, or would they just have been used to search the police databases and then discarded or physically filed somewhere, without being entered?

According to this, Georgia is one of the states that submits civil and latent prints. Oddly, it’s hard to find specifics on what civil prints Georgia submits. You’d think that at the very least there would be conspiracy websites around to tell you that sort of thing.

They did that at some event when my kids were young- but the prints never got into a database. I know that because the prints went on a little card (with a space to hold a recent photo) and were given to the parents.

That was true years ago, when fingerprints were done via ink on a card. To provide a usable copy for the FBI, you needed something better than the standard copiers of the time. So most often the original (& only) copy was given to the parents.

But now, most fingerprinting is done by pressing your fingers onto a small scanner screen, that generates a digital file. It would be trivial to also send copies of that file to the FBI while giving you one.

Heck, some of the newer credit cards have the digital file of your fingerprint embedded in them. So the credit card company has a file of your fingerprint. Can the FBI access that? Also, I’ve heard of people getting multiple credit cards under various names – possibly the credit card company could catch this when the applicants fingerprint matches those of 3 other applicants with different names, SSNs, etc.