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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Current and Future DNA Comparisons

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Frequently there is no limitation placed on future examination of DNA evidence in connection with other crimes, as long as the DNA sample was lawfully obtained. The prosecutor should note, however, that the legality of future use of DNA evidence obtained by consent may rest on the language used to obtain that consent. If a person consents to giving a DNA sample for use in a specific crime, this may prevent future use of the DNA sample.

It may be advisable to include specific language on written consent forms explaining that the DNA sample will be retained for current and future comparisons with crime scene evidence. However, it may not be necessary to inform a suspect of the specific investigation that the DNA will be used for [Pace v. State, 524 S.E.2d 490; 271 Ga. 829; 2000 Fulton County D. Rep. 601 (Ga. 1999)].

Law enforcement may acquire a DNA sample by consent for an unrelated case [Washington v. State, 653 So.2d 362; 19 Fla. L. Weekly S 647 (Fla. 1994)].

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