Will I Have to Give a Sample of My DNA?

In the last decade, there have been great technological advances in one of the most powerful law enforcement tools discovered to date: deoxyribonucleic acid, otherwise known as “DNA.”

In the criminal justice system, DNA is being used to solve crimes by identifying criminals with great accuracy when a crime scene contains biological evidence. Conversely, DNA has another key use – it can clear suspects by ruling them out when their DNA does not match to the crime victim or the crime scene.

Three ways DNA can solve a crime:

  • If there is a suspect, DNA from the crime scene can be compared to the suspect.
  • If there is no suspect, DNA evidence can be collected and compared to the offender profiles already stored in DNA databases to help law enforcement identify a suspect.
  • Biological evidence collected at one crime scene can be compared to the DNA evidence collected from other crime scenes.

“Currently all 50 states and the federal government have laws requiring that DNA samples be collected from some categories of offenders,” according to the United States Department of Justice. In Florida, the state’s DNA collection laws are covered in Section 943.325 of the Florida Statutes.

Who has to provide a DNA sample under Sec. 943.325? Anyone who is convicted of the following crimes must provide a sample of their DNA:

  • Gang crimes,
  • Stalking,
  • Sex crimes, including misdemeanors,
  • All felonies defined in chapters 782, 784, 794, 800, 810, 812, 787, 790, and 893, and
  • As of January 1, 2019, anyone who is arrested for any felony or attempted felony must provide a DNA sample. No felony suspects will be immune.

If you are facing felony charges in West Palm Beach, there is a very good chance that you will have to provide a DNA sample. As of January 1, 2019, the rules will be clear: If you are arrested for any felony, including felony DUI, you MUST provide a sample of your DNA.

Suggested Reading: Penalties for Failing to Appear in Florida

To learn more about your legal rights in regard to DNA samples under state and federal law, contact my firm at once for help.


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