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Preservation of Biological Evidence Laws

Published on February 18th, 2019

Criminal Lawyer Bloomington, IL

An important consideration for a criminal defense lawyer is the biological evidence that may be used against their client in their case. If you feel your chances for a case dismissal are hopeless, contact a criminal defense lawyer can review your case at no charge and offer you an honest assessment.

The Importance of Preserving DNA Evidence

The rulings in several hundred criminal cases over the last several years have been overturned on the basis of DNA evidence findings. Technology that was not developed or in existence at the time of those cases has now been applied in many instances that have allowed innocent people who were unfairly incarcerated to walk free with the help of their post-conviction criminal defense lawyer. Of course, nothing can make up for the years of their lives that they lost while in prison, and those who were wrongly put to death will not get justice. Nevertheless, the preservation of DNA and other evidence is crucial, and it is the legal, ethical, and moral responsibility of authorities to maintain evidence integrity. If it is allowed to become contaminated, destroyed, mislabeled, or tainted in any way, it can truly be a travesty of justice.

Laws Requiring the Preservation of Biological Evidence

Unfortunately, not every state requires that evidence used against a defendant must be preserved. And as our criminal defense lawyer might tell you, though about half of the states in the U.S. do have such laws, they are often weak when it comes to protecting the rights of citizens. However, when a law firm accepts a case, a criminal defense lawyer will use every legal tool available to build the strongest defense case possible. That may include calling evidence integrity, or the lack of evidence, into question. If the prosecutor attempts to introduce evidence into court that is not properly preserved, it may be challenged. Every effort will be made by our criminal defense lawyer to weaken the prosecution’s case in order to lead to a successful outcome for our client.

Recognized Standards for Preserving Biological Evidence

The U.S. Justice Department established the Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation, a federal organization and which is overseen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The organization released two reports that offer guidance for responsible law enforcement agencies for properly preserving and handling biological evidence. When biological evidence is used against a defendant but was not properly cared for, a good criminal lawyer Bloomington, IL trusts will recognize that and call it into question.

Contact Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into criminal defense and biological evidence.

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