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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Probable Cause

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Photo of a thief with pantyhose over his face, bent down, with an old stereo under his arms
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

The fourth amendment requires that police have probable cause before an individual is arrested. Before a person may be detained, police must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. 6

If neither of these legal standards is met, the seizure of DNA from a person who has been detained or arrested will be deemed unlawful if the DNA evidence is a "fruit" or product of the illegal seizure of that person.

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