A recent application of fluorescence that is perhaps largely unknown outside law enforcement involves the utilization of laser excited fluorescence (LEF) in forensic science. In this overview, the focus is on LEF applicaton to development of latent fingerprints. Other areas of criminalistics, such as document examination and fiber analysis will be dealt with briefly only. To bring the technical reader, who likely has little familiarity with the fingerprint field, up to stream, a historical introduction precedes the description of current procedures for laser detection of latent fingerprints which is followed by a brief outline of current areas of research in the fingerprint area and application of lasers to other types of evidence examination. The overview concludes with an assessment of the current state and utilization growth prognosis of lasers in criminalistics.