U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Collecting DNA Evidence at Property Crime Scenes

Evidence Collection

Module Overview

This training module introduces and describes the following key concepts:

  • Priority of evidence collection.
  • Control/substrate samples.
  • Reference samples.
  • Equipment.
  • Biological evidence collection procedures.
  • Specific collection procedures.
  • Evidence marking.
  • Packaging.
  • Chain of custody.
  • Preserving evidence.
  • Reporting.
  • Testifying.

Collection and packaging methods differ depending on the type of evidence and the material upon which it is found. It is preferable to collect evidence in its original state. If the evidence is fragile or can easily be lost, the entire object should be collected and packaged when size and circumstances permit. Contact a specialist if you are not trained in the required procedure.

Standard operating procedures regarding collection and preservation of biological evidence are defined by each agency and the local forensic laboratory.


Back Forward