Law Enforcement Collect My DNA Without a Warrant in California?
At Lotze Mosley, LLP, our Washington D.C. and Maryland criminal defense attorneys know that law enforcement officials often tell suspects that they simply want to collect their DNA to clear them from their investigation.
The reality is, a DNA sample cannot be collected from the body of a person without that person’s consent unless authorized by a search warrant obtained through probable cause or by a judicial order in exigent circumstances.
During the latter, the sample can only be obtained upon notice and after an opportunity for a hearing, where the individual has a right to counsel either appointed or hired.
How Are DNA Samples Taken By Law Enforcement?
When a DNA sample is taken to assist in determining whether the person committed a crime, it can be obtained by swabbing the inside of the mouth called a buccal test or by taking a sample of the person’s blood by pricking their finger.
The DNA must be obtained by a forensic investigator professionally trained in the identification, collection, and preservation of DNA evidence who will follow the written guidelines to identify, collect, and preserve that evidence, taking reasonable care to ensure that the collection is representative of all relevant DNA evidence present.
DNA evidence should be collected and preserved in a manner designed to document its identity, ensure its integrity, and, whenever possible, ensure its availability for testing and retesting.
Should I Agree to Give a DNA Sample If I Did Not Commit a Crime?
A DNA sample contains a person’s entire genetic makeup, which can reveal intensely sensitive information about the individual from which it came, including their propensities for certain medical conditions, ancestry, and biological familial relationships.
Contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Washington D.C. at Lotze Mosley, LLP
If you have been asked to provide a DNA sample for any reason that involves a crime, or if you have been arrested under the pretense that law enforcement has matched your DNA to a crime scene, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Washington D.C. and Maryland at Lotze Mosley, LLP to understand your legal rights and options before speaking with law enforcement by calling 202-393-0535 today.