Sign In
City of Philadelphia

Line Up Information FAQ

Lineup Information for Victims and Witnesses

Why is a lineup necessary?

A lineup is designed to provide a fair identification procedure for someone accused of a crime. Most requests for a lineup are made before the preliminary hearing by defense lawyers representing the person who was arrested. The request is usually made in cases in which the victim or witness did not identify the accused shortly after the crime was committed. The Assistant District Attorney (ADA) has a chance to respond to, and, if appropriate, to argue against the request. The Municipal Court judge will grant or deny the request. When the judge grants the request, the judge will postpone the preliminary hearing until after the lineup is held.

Why must I participate?

Your cooperation is important to the proper functioning of the criminal justice system. Your help at the lineup and at later court appearances is essential.

The lineup is conducted very carefully. This is done both to protect the rights of the accused and to ensure that any possible identification is not "thrown out of court" at a later date because the lineup was not conducted properly.

What happens next?

You will be contacted by a Victim/Witness Coordinator from the District Attorney’s Office who will provide you with the information you need to attend the lineup. You will then be mailed a lineup order letter from the District Attorney’s Office that admits you to the lineup, as well as a subpoena for the next hearing date.

Where does the lineup take place?

Lineups take place at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF), 7901 State Road in Northeast Philadelphia, starting at 5:00 PM. You may want to bring a friend or family member with you for company and support.

***It is important that you arrive at the CFCF no later than 4:45 P.M.***

***Please remember to bring photo identification (driver's license, school identification, employment identification, etc.) with you to the lineup***

What takes place at the CFCF?

When you arrive at the main entrance to the CFCF, inform the guards you are present for a line-up, you will be directed to the administrative lobby entrance. Once inside, ask for the detective in charge of the line-ups. When everything is ready, the detective in charge will instruct you to proceed to the lineup area. A security check is required of everyone entering the locked area. Handbags and briefcases are also inspected. This is done for the protection of everyone in the building. Please do not bring any weapons, knives, nail files, pepper spray, or glass with you to the lineup.

What is the Dress Code?

Listed below are basic criteria that all must observe when entering the lineup facility:

  • No miniskirts;
  • No sandals;
  • No plain white t-shirts;
  • No hot pants;
  • No see-through or revealing clothing;
  • No shorts of any kind;
  • No hooded sweatshirts;
  • No halter tops, tank tops, or crop tops; and
  • Tops exceeding hip length must be worn when wearing spandex tights and "stretch pants"

What happens next?

When your lineup is ready, you will be escorted into the line-up room. The detective in charge, an Assistant District Attorney, and a defense attorney will also be in the room. Their role is to observe the lineup to ensure that it is conducted in accordance with the law and established procedures for the protection of all parties involved.

What will I see in the lineup room?

You will be seated facing a glass-enclosed area. Before the lineup begins, you will be instructed not to say anything until asked to do so by the detective. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Six people will be standing behind the glass in a brightly lit area. Each person will be identified to you by a number from one to six. You will be given ample opportunity to observe them. The glass is one-way glass so the people in the lineup CANNOT SEE YOU. After you have a chance to observe all of the people in the lineup, the detective in charge will ask you several questions. You should answer truthfully.

What happens after the lineup?

The detective in charge will tell you when you may leave.

***You are still required to attend all court hearings for which you receive a subpoena, regardless of whether you identified anyone in the lineup, unless instructed otherwise by the District Attorney's Office***

If you have any questions before or after the lineup, need additional information, or need transportation to the lineup, please call (215) 686-8027, or e-mail

Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility contact information:

Lineup Detective Bill Urban:
(215) 685-7935

7901 State Road, Philadelphia, Pa. 19136