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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Constitutional Right to Counsel

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Photo of a jail cell, a lawyer is talking with a prisoner, with a police officer looking in.
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

There is no right to counsel until the criminal process has commenced. The right to counsel does not apply when police approach an individual who has not been arrested and ask for the person's consent to obtain DNA evidence.

Likewise, the right to counsel does not apply when an individual is arrested and the seizure of DNA evidence occurs before formal criminal proceedings are commenced.

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