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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Defense Requests for Access to DNA Testing Laboratories

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Photo of the inside of a laboratory
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

The defendant's expert may request to be present during any DNA testing that is conducted by the government's experts. However, some laboratories may have concerns (e.g., security, liability, confidentiality) that would make this access impossible. In such cases, the parties may jointly request that the evidence be sent to an independent DNA testing laboratory. In either circumstance, the parties must agree or a court order must be obtained.

Other laboratories may permit the defense expert to view the testing via remote communication.

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