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Criminal DNA Testing
In the recent decades, criminal DNA testing has played a vital role in determining the verdicts for cases. Not only can DNA put a suspect at the crime scene, but also exclude a defendant from a scene. The variations in people’s DNA deems DNA evidence as statistically unique from person to person; therefore, DNA can be compared to different “DNA profiles” in various databases to see if the DNA found at a crime scene matches or does not match a key individual. In recent years, mathematics and key vocabulary involved with criminal DNA testing is better understood by a jury rather than having an ultimately confusing effect. Ways of extracting smaller amounts of usable criminal DNA testing in unconventional areas are continuously improving and are allowing attorneys to find DNA that was once not considered evidence or even possible to collect. Criminal DNA testing is currently a significant piece of evidence that is now widely used by attorneys.
One of the major advantages that criminal DNA testing posses is placing people definitively at a crime scene with a lack of any video evidence or witness accounts. Cases involving sexual assault usually have obvious samples of DNA, but unintentional samples of DNA (stray hair, cough or sneeze residue, skin tissue, etc.) can place people on a scene that were never considered as a suspect. This high probability of unknowingly shedding DNA on a crime scene can not only help create a definitive image of the scene, but also discredit the opposition.
If witness or police accounts put a defendant at the scene, but there is other DNA that puts someone else at the same place, then the accounts would not seem as convincing to a jury. Also, if a suspect claims to not be at a scene, and DNA evidence contradicts his statement, then a key opposing witness could potentially be discredited. The lack of DNA can be just as strong as a presence of DNA.
The power of criminal DNA testing is that it is practically irrefutable. Unless the suspect has an identical twin or was an expert in covering any trace of DNA, a jury would consider the DNA evidence higher then any testimony. Although DNA evidence may be concrete, it does mean it is unbreakable. To combat DNA evidence used against a defendant, an attorney, depending on the case, could argue that the defendant was there at a different time or had mild contact with the individual prosecuting. If an attorney had the right evidence to back up this claim, the criminal DNA testing could hold less weight to a jury.
Large DNA databases allow DNA evidence to be analyzed in a much larger scope. When no obvious suspect is to be found in order to compare collected DNA evidence, an attorney can compare the DNA with DNA used in other cases, collected by the government due to priors, or collected by government due to a military service. If the convenience of finding an instant match returns no results, an attorney would need to use other tactics to narrow the various suspects down. Placing another individual at the scene using DNA evidence would allow the represented defendant to fade away as the major suspect.
If you have any questions about criminal DNA testing in San Diego, contact San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Vik Monder at 619.405.0063 or visit Criminal Defense San Diego