If you’ve watched the
FBI Files, CSI, or the
Cold Case Files, you’re probably familiar with how DNA evidence has become a powerful
law enforcement tool. With advances in DNA technology, law enforcement
agencies across the nation are requiring offenders to provide a sample
of their DNA when they have been charged with certain crimes.
So, the question is, if you’re charged with
DUI in Orange County, will you be required to give a sample of your DNA? It
depends – more on that in a minute.
Value of DNA Evidence
With the exception of identical twins, no two people share the same DNA.
This means that DNA evidence that is collected at a crime scene can later
be used to link a suspect to a crime, but it can also exonerate them.
DNA evidence that comes from saliva, hair, skin tissue, blood, and semen
can be recovered from a crime scene and linked to another crime scene
and the same perpetrator, even if the crime was committed in a different state.
Proposition 69 is Passed
The government has found that the majority of violent criminals have prior
convictions for nonviolent crimes. Not only that, but when people commit
crimes, the crimes tend to escalate (in severity) as the offender becomes
more sophisticated and gains confidence.
Law enforcement has learned that most cold hits are missed if a DNA database
is only limited to violent crime offenders. Because of this, on November
2, 2004, voters passed California Proposition 69, which requires DNA samples
to be collected from all adult and juvenile felons, and people who’ve
been arrested or charged with specific crimes.
Under Proposition 69, the DNA samples of
all felons are submitted to the state’s DNA databases, even if the crimes were
nonviolent, for example, a
Were You Arrested for Felony DUI?
If you are arrested for a misdemeanor DUI, you will
not be required to provide a DNA sample. However, if you are facing
felony charges, you
will be required to give a sample of your DNA, even if you are
never convicted of the offense.
DNA samples are collected immediately following the arrest, conviction,
or during the booking process at the facility, or promptly thereafter.
The collection process is painless; it involves a cheek swab that resembles a Q-tip.
The sample is submitted to a crime lab where the DNA is analyzed and entered
into a database where it can be compared to the DNA of millions of other
profiles derived from evidence found on victims’ bodies, and other
evidence found at crime scenes.
Hopefully, we answered your questions about DNA evidence. If you’re
looking for a hard-hitting Orange County DUI attorney,
contact our office immediately to schedule a
free case evaluation!