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Do I Have To Consent To DNA Testing

Do I Have To Consent To DNA Testing

There are a variety of state laws on the books about whether or not employers or insurers can require DNA samples, but police access to DNA records is a little more problematic. On one hand, it can be seen as an egregious violation of privacy; on the other hand, it is no more invasive than taking a fingerprint, which police do regularly for individuals arrested but not convicted of a crime.

As of 2008, with the backing of federal precedent and various federal rulings, you do not have the right to deny a DNA test if you have been arrested. Like fingerprinting, it is mandatory. If you have not been arrested for a crime, then standard state laws regarding DNA testing apply, and police have to get your permission. This is applicable if you are an accessory, witness or a victim of a crime. Additionally, parents must give consent for minor children to have their DNA tested.

Gray Areas In DNA Testing Law

If you have not been arrested due to lack of probable cause, but if police are investigating whether you are guilty, they can't ask for or coercively take your DNA and include that evidence in their investigation. Additionally, if your DNA would appear to implicate you in a crime but it is the only piece of evidence, it is not necessarily proof of guilt. DNA testing can only be used to conclusively prove innocence or a non-match. Guilt still requires other evidence.

A criminal defense attorney will be able to explain how current DNA laws apply to your particular legal situation. DNA testing has grown in sensitivity by leaps and bounds, and regulations have been struggling to catch up to the possibilities of the technology. As the technology becomes more powerful, however, laws may change.

The Right To An Attorney

You have the right to a criminal defense attorney because of confusing issues like this. You may consult with your lawyer, who will provide you with pertinent legal information and advice as well as representation for you in a court of law to get you the best deal possible.