If you’ve watched crime shows on television, you’re probably familiar with a powerful criminal justice tool: deoxyribonucleic acid or “DNA.” DNA can be collected from all kinds of things, such as cigarettes, chewing gum, soda cans, skin cells, drinking glasses, semen, saliva, hair, and so on.
“DNA can be used to identify criminals with incredible accuracy when biological evidence exists,” says the United States Department of Justice. Likewise, it can be used to exclude suspects and free imamates from prison who were wrongfully convicted.
If you’re a suspect in a criminal investigation, you may be thinking, “I don’t want them to take a sample of my DNA!” and this is not unusual. Lots of people are afraid that they’ll either have their DNA mixed up at the lab and they’ll be wrongfully convicted, or they’re afraid they’ll be convicted of some crime they committed years before, in their youth.
What Texas Law Says About DNA
In Texas, there are a number of situations where someone may be required to provide a sample of their DNA in a criminal investigation. An individual may be required to provide a DNA sample if he or she:
- Has been arrested for a sexually-motivated crime and he or she has been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for a sexually-motivated crime, such as: sexual assault, indecency with a child, aggravated sexual assault, sexual performance by a child, burglary of a residence, incest, possession of child pornography, continuous sexual abuse of a child, etc.
- Has been officially charged with a sexually motivated crime, especially if it involves a child victim.
- Has been convicted of any felony offense, including felony DWI, after September 1, 2009, but this does not include deferred adjudication. However, if the individual received deferred adjudication, he or she can still be ordered by the court to provide a DNA sample.
- Has been convicted of promoting prostitution, enticing a child, indecent exposure, or public lewdness.
If you have further questions regarding a criminal investigation, DNA collection, or criminal defense in Denton County, contact Derek A. Adame, Attorney at Law for the legal expertise your situation demands.