The usage of DNA evidence has been in the media lately because of the arrest of the alleged Grim Sleeper. In that case, the police found the alleged serial killer’s DNA from a discarded pizza slice and was able to track him down using a familial DNA search.
California voters approved the state DNA program by passing Proposition 69 in 2004. The law required that people arrested for a felony must provide DNA samples to be stored in a criminal database accessible to law enforcement agencies. The DNA sample must be submitted even before they are convicted.
ACLU filed a challenge to the law last year in federal court, contending that the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure bars mandatory DNA testing of individuals arrested of a felony, without suspicion or warrant, before being convicted. The ACLU is appealing the denial of a preliminary injunction to halt the enforcement of the law.
Lawyers for Attorney General Jerry Brown struggled to persuade a federal appellate panel that felony arrestees should be forced to give DNA samples as required by the enacted law.
Circuit precedent seems to be against this law. In Friedman v. Boucher, 580 F. 3rd 847, a case out of Nevada which held that extraction of DNA from an arrestee, done to generate cold hits in a DNA databank, violates the 4th Amendment.
The collection of DNA samples can be highly controversial because of the potential constitutional violations. If you or a loved one was arrested and a DNA sample was taken from you, it is important to speak with an experienced DNA attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our Southern California DNA attorneys have years of experience in DNA evidence. We have been defending the criminally accused for over 30 years. Call us today at (888) 280-6839 or contact us through our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.