Trace evidence, such as hair, fiber, glass and paint chips, is a type of physical evidence that is small and transient, but measurable. When larger items of physical evidence are subjected to closer examination in the laboratory, trace evidence may be detected.
The importance of trace evidence can be critical to an investigation. Awareness of this type of evidence cannot be overemphasized. Photographing the area where any evidence is collected not only provides documentation of the collection but also assists in locating trace evidence.
Even if identification cannot be made in the laboratory, the investigator and prosecutor may use trace evidence as part of a convincing circumstantial case. Skill and effort during collection, testing and case preparation can help ensure a successful presentation of trace evidence in the courtroom.
Additional Online Courses
- What Every First Responding Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence
- Collecting DNA Evidence at Property Crime Scenes
- DNA – A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook
- Crime Scene and DNA Basics
- Laboratory Safety Programs
- DNA Amplification
- Population Genetics and Statistics
- Non-STR DNA Markers: SNPs, Y-STRs, LCN and mtDNA
- Firearms Examiner Training
- Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers
- What Every Investigator and Evidence Technician Should Know About DNA Evidence
- Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court
- Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert
- Laboratory Orientation and Testing of Body Fluids and Tissues
- DNA Extraction and Quantitation
- STR Data Analysis and Interpretation
- Communication Skills, Report Writing, and Courtroom Testimony
- Español for Law Enforcement
- Amplified DNA Product Separation for Forensic Analysts