DNA and Law Enforcement

  • After An arrest

    For many states in the U.S., if you are arrested for a felony, your DNA is automatically collected for a national database. In Texas, officials need arraignment or judicial probable cause for collection of DNA for a case; however, collection is automatic for a specific subset of felonies. That collection sample can then be used when searching for criminals in other cases around the country.

  • The DNA Database

    Once your DNA is collected and entered into the database, it usually just stays there. Some states have explicit laws regarding the storage of DNA for criminal cases. In most instances, the DNA samples stay in the database unless the individual requests expungement. A Weatherford criminal defense lawyer recommends you request expungement of your DNA sample if you are cleared of your case.

  • DNA Crime Analysis

    The reason you need to request expungement is because if you don’t, then your DNA will continue to be used in possible suspect lineups for cases without your consent or knowledge. It’s not the same as requesting that you come down to a police station for a lineup. With DNA matching, there’s little inconvenience to you – except when your DNA shows up as a positive match in a crime.

DNA is not necessarily 100 percent reliable, and things can get clouded quickly when you’re dealing with family members. Your DNA could come up as a match when someone related to you actually committed the crime. Using DNA does not eliminate the risk of a false positive or false conviction. If your DNA was collected, consider getting it expunged after proving your innocence.