*2023 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

Why are fingerprints required before the first remote court appearance in Ontario, Canada?

Zoom virtual court dates are for hybrid indictable criminal offences that require fingerprints and mugshots to be taken by the police.

If you received a Zoom remote court appearance date by the police in Ontario you need to be fingerprinted because you have been charged with an indictable criminal offence. Most Criminal Code offences in Canada are Crown elect hybrid indictable offences which give the police the right to take the accused’s fingerprints and mugshot as per the Identification of Criminals Act.

Someone else described my offence as a summary or summary conviction offence though? Is this not true?

The "someone else" who said that is wrong and probably shouldn't be relied on for legal advice. Most of the so-called summary offences that people are being fingerprinted for before their Zoom virtual court appearance are actually Crown elect hybrid indictable offences. Some examples include:
  1. Theft under $5000 (s. 334)
  2. Mischief under $5000 (s. 430)
  3. Assault (s. 266)
  4. Impaired Operation/DUI (s. 320.14 (1))
  5. Uttering Threats (s. 264.1)
Fingerprints are required to positively identify the accused since they are potentially facing jail time and a criminal record. This eliminates issues relating to people who share names and dates of birth. The fingerprints will be added to the CPIC database that is accessible by all law enforcement agencies throughout Canada and the U.S. (police, immigration, customs, etc.).

What will happen when I go for fingerprinting?

You will attend in person at the fingerprinting location listed on your Undertaking (Form 10) or Appearance Notice (Form 9). The fingerprinting officer will then check your ID and ask questions related to your identity and appearance, such as:
  1. Where were you born?
  2. When did you first come to Canada (if an immigrant)?
  3. Do you have any scars, tattoos, other marks?
  4. Confirmation of hair and eye colour, height, weight, etc.
After this information is noted in the computer system they will then take your full handprints using a laser light machine. Next, photos (mugshots) will be taken from the front straight on and the side. If you have tattoos or scars the police may photograph them as well. This varies by police force policy as some may just ask for a description of them to be noted in your police file.

What will the police do with the data they collect from me?

The fingerprints and photographs along with all other information about your identity will be stored in the local police force database and then uploaded to the RCMP to be added to the national CPIC database. CPIC is the national criminal database that all police forces use to share arrest information. The data in CPIC is also accessible by all U.S. law enforcement agencies including U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

This is why being charged and fingerprinted for a criminal offence such as any of the ones listed above can cause you to be banned from or denied entry into the U.S. When you receive a Zoom remote court appearance date the outcome of your case will also eventually be recorded in these police databases as well.

Since what happens to your case (the outcome) is permanent it is extremely important that you hire a lawyer as soon as possible to start working on your case. A remote or virtual Zoom court appearance is the exact same as attending the courthouse in person in terms of potential consequences if the case is not handled correctly from the start.

I am an immigrant to Canada. Will the police give my fingerprints and charge data to the IRCC?

If the person is discovered to be in the country illegally, the police will usually notify IRCC and the CBSA immediately upon arrest. If the person is legally in Canada as a tourist, student, on a work permit, or is a permanent resident (PR), the charges will be discovered by IRCC when they check the CPIC database. IRCC checks CPIC as part of their routine background screenings when evaluating and deciding current and future immigration applications.

IRCC has full access to the CPIC database. When IRCC evaluate and assess applications they must check the CPIC database for criminality and cross reference it with statements or omissions in the immigrant’s application. This process is the same whether you are from India, China, the U.K., the U.S., or any other country.

If you have a fingerprinting date and a virtual court appearance date, your current immigration status and future IRCC applications will depend on what the eventual outcome of the case is. Those in the immigration system are not only at risk of going to jail or getting a criminal record, they also may be deported or have to leave Canada if the case is not handled correctly.

What if I ignore the fingerprint and Zoom remote court date? What will happen if I don’t show up?

If you fail to attend for either the fingerprints or the virtual court date (or both) the police will issue a warrant for your arrest and will most likely lay additional charges for “failure to comply”. You will eventually be rearrested and charged accordingly. Sometimes when a person doesn’t show up for fingerprints or Zoom court the police will actively look for the accused (show up at their home, workplace, etc.), other times the warrant will just be added to the system to be enforced the next time the person comes into contact with law enforcement (is pulled over, crosses the border, etc.).

Whether the police will actively search for you or not depends on both the jurisdiction and the nature of the charge. Either way, ignoring the fingerprint and/or remote court date will only make matters much worse. It is illegal and may result in you being held in custody when you are eventually rearrested instead of being released again while the charges are pending.

Your lawyer should be attending court virtually and representing you for all of the remote court appearances.

While you must attend personally for fingerprints, if you have a lawyer your lawyer will normally attend the Zoom virtual court dates on your behalf. If you have received a remote court appearance date you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible (before the fingerprint and court dates) so ideally you will only have the fingerprint date to attend.

While the court is online those accused should not be tempted to represent themselves. Any offence for which you are fingerprinted are serious indictable (or hybrid) criminal offences. The outcome of your case can impact your employability and ability to travel for the rest of your life. If you are not a Canadian Citizen, any future immigration applications (and potential deportation) will be contingent on what happens with your case.

Don’t confuse the ease of attending court remotely via Zoom with thinking it is a good idea to handle the case yourself. You have been criminally charged and face life altering permanent potential consequences depending on what happens with your case.

If you have the ability to do so, you should hire a private lawyer to represent you as soon as possible if you have received an Undertaking or Appearance Notice from the police. This is particularly true for first time offenders who do not already have a criminal record.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2023 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2023. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel