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DNA samples retained, Supreme Court may review

Late last month, the United States Supreme Court suggested it might review a case that will determine whether police can hold DNA samples of an innocent person and use a sample against them in another unrelated crime case. If the Supreme Court rules on the matter, it could affect cases across the country, including cases right here in Wilmington.

According to a report, a man was accused of a violent crime, and his DNA was collected. Although he was never convicted of that crime, his DNA sample was then used against him in another case, which led to incarceration. Many times DNA evidence is used in serious crime cases, and that evidence can be highly convincing, although it isn't the only evidence that might be presented.

If the Supreme Court determines that holding a person's DNA sample even if they aren't convicted is a violation of their rights, some people who have convicted may appeal their convictions. If evidence is illegally required or police and investigators overstep their boundaries during a case, a person might have their case or some of the charges dismissed.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can make sure a person's rights are protected if they are ever accused of a crime. Many times an accusation itself can harm a person's reputation. The consequences of a conviction can determine a person's future, so understanding the way a case is handled in court, and working to formulate a rigorous criminal defense might be a wise decision.

Source: Thomson Reuters News & Insight, "Supreme Court may review case over DNA samples," July 30, 2012

-Our law firm handles a variety of criminal defense issues. To learn more, please visit our violent crimes defense page.

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