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Do I Have to Give a Sample of My DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is the genetic material in human beings and other living creatures. DNA contains powerful genetic information that can link people to unsolved crimes in California and other states thanks to nationwide DNA databases.

When someone is facing criminal charges, it’s not uncommon for them to be concerned about the authorities wanting a sample of their DNA. Not necessarily because they’re afraid they’ll be linked to a crime, but sometimes because they’re afraid of their DNA getting mixed up with someone else’s and being convicted of a crime they didn’t commit. Whether the fear is valid or not, it’s very real for a lot of defendants.

So, the question is, if you’re mixed up with the law, will you have to give a sample of your DNA? It depends. Prior to the passing of Proposition 69, the “DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime and Innocence Project Act,” anyone who was convictedof a serious felony was required by law to provide a blood sample to law enforcement for the purpose of providing his or her DNA sample.

Once the DNA sample was collected by the California Department of Corrections (CDC) or a local jail, it would be submitted to the California Department of Justice (DOJ). From there, the DOJ’s laboratory would analyze the sample and store the convicted felon’s DNA profile in a statewide DNA databank. The DOJ would also submit the felon’s DNA profile to the national databank maintained by the FBI, the Combined DNA Index System.

HOW THE LAW CHANGED

In November of 2004, California voters passed Proposition 69, expanding the state’s DNA testing requirements. This is how DNA collection changed under the new law:

  • All adults and juveniles convicted of any felony offense are required to provide a DNA sample.
  • Any adult or juvenile convicted of any arson or sex offense, or any attempt to commit arson or a sex offense must provide a DNA sample.
  • Any adult arrested for, or charged with a felony sex offense, voluntary manslaughter or murder, or attempt to commit any of the above offenses must provide a DNA sample.
  • As of 2009, any adult arrested or charged with any felony offense must provide a sample of their DNA.

Will you have to provide as sample of your DNA? If you’re arrested for or convicted of any felony in the State of California, you will be required to provide a sample of your DNA.

Facing felony charges in Orange County? Contact us at once for a free case evaluation.

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