U.S. flag

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

DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

DNA Usage

Home  |  Glossary  |  Resources  |  Help  |  Contact Us  |  Course Map

Photo of a DNA strand symbol and the background contains a photo example of a suspect and victim to crime scene
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

The most common use of DNA is to prove identity, but identity is not always at issue in a case. DNA can be used to link the suspect to the victim, link the victim to the suspect, or link both the suspect and victim to the crime scene. DNA may be equally important to corroborate a fact in issue, such as an individual's presence at a scene. DNA can also be used to establish an element of a crime, for example, penetration, in a sex crime case where the victim is a baby or young child, developmentally disabled, or drugged with no recollection of the event.

Back Forward