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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Probable Cause for an Arrest

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illustration of a pair of hand cuffs. One cuff is locked around a large strand of DNA
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Finding an individual's DNA evidence at a crime scene may not prove that the person was present at the time of the crime. To establish probable cause, additional facts are needed to link the DNA sample to the crime. Those additional facts may be found in the circumstances of the crime itself.

Indeed, courts have held that DNA evidence, without an identification by a live witness, is legally sufficient to convict (not merely to arrest). 20

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