Have You Done DNA Testing? You Could be Part of a Criminal Investigation

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinios DNA testing attorneyMany people have seen the television advertisements for DNA testing kits that typically come from genealogy websites such as FamilyTreeDNA. However, what started as a simple curiosity may turn into something much more if the police try to obtain your DNA information from one of these databases. They have the right to do it and have even been successful in the past putting people away using this type of evidence. Critics of this practice, however, say it is a slippery slope and one that could ruin the lives of innocent people who are falsely charged with a crime.

Law Enforcement DNA Collection Techniques

It was not that long ago in 2018 when police were able to find a man connected to at least 45 rapes and 12 murders that occurred during the 1970s and 1980s. This former policeman was dubbed the Golden State Killer and his DNA was found through a public database.

In 25 other cases around the country, law enforcement used other tactics to obtain a suspect’s DNA. Many times, it was not even the suspect’s DNA they eventually tested, but that of a relative’s.

In the past, law enforcement could only obtain this evidence if the database was public. Today, however, all it takes is an agreement with the company that maintains the database. FamilyTreeDNA is one such company that allows law enforcement access to their records when it is requested.

Criticisms of DNA Collecting Practices

The biggest concern with police simply combing through DNA files any time they want, of course, is that it violates a person’s privacy. Today, people are placing an extra emphasis on their privacy because there is so little of it these days. People do not want others accessing their data in any capacity, and that includes the data held within their DNA.

The other problem with collecting DNA samples from these genetic testing companies is the possibility of samples being corrupt or tampered with. While these companies must follow regulations just as everyone else, it is impossible to tell with any kind of certainty what happened in the lab when the testing was done. One small misstep and it could tamper with potential evidence.

If the DNA samples were somehow inaccurate, it could lead to innocent people being charged with a crime and potentially even thrown behind bars. It is already difficult to sort out evidence and ensure it points to the right person. When a third party is involved, such as a genetic testing company, it only makes it that much harder.

Were You Wrongfully Accused of a Federal Crime? Contact an Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Unfortunately, DNA is only one piece of evidence that can easily lead to wrongful accusations and worse, wrongful convictions. Do not let it get that far. If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime, you need a skilled Chicago federal criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we are passionate about standing up for the rights of the wrongfully accused and building strong defenses to help them beat the charges. If you have a legal issue, call us today at (312) 270-0999 for your free consultation and learn more about how we can help.

Source:

https://www.ajc.com/news/national/golden-state-killer-tracked-down-using-dna-genealogy-website-officials-say/N27nonZCBihxxfaHErc16I/

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