U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Crime Scene Investigation: Guides for Law Enforcement

Date Published
July 12, 2017

These guides are intended for use by law enforcement and other responders who have responsibility for protecting crime scenes, preserving physical evidence and collecting and submitting the evidence for scientific examination.

If crime scene investigators do not act methodically, they risk contaminating or losing evidence. Approach a crime scene investigation as if it will be your only opportunity to preserve and recover evidence. Combine a scientific assessment of physical evidence with case information and witness statements as you assess the scene.

The steps presented on these Web pages are a guide to recommended practices for crime scene investigation. 

For general crime scene guidance, see Crime Scene Investigation Guide, published by the National Forensic Science Technology Center with support from NIJ, BJA, and NIST.

Special Circumstances. In addition to general  procedures, you also can find guides for investigating crime scenes where:

National Institute of Justice, "Crime Scene Investigation: Guides for Law Enforcement," July 12, 2017, nij.ojp.gov:
https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/crime-scene-investigation-guides-law-enforcement
Date Created: August 7, 2019