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Virginia police accused of falsifying DNA evidence

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | Criminal Defense

It’s a common tactic during police interrogations for officers to tell the suspect that they have all the evidence they need to get a conviction, so the suspect might as well confess to make things easier on themselves. In some cases, signing a confession may be your best option, though you should always consult your defense attorney and have your lawyer present during questioning.

However, don’t assume that the evidence against you is as strong as the officers claim. You never know; some of that evidence might be phony.

AG says police department forged DNA evidence

Following an investigation into the Virginia Beach Police Department, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring recently accused the department of forging DNA test results at least five times from 2016 to 2020. “This was an extremely troubling and potentially unconstitutional tactic that abused the name of the Commonwealth to try to coerce confessions,” Herring said. He said that officers used the forged documents to pressure suspects into confessing. At least one of these fake forensic test results was submitted into evidence at trial. It isn’t clear if that person was convicted or how many confessions or convictions resulted from this ruse.

Defend your rights in court

This abuse of power is sobering. It is also a reminder that the police do not always follow the rules. They have a lot of power to investigate individuals, but you have rights too. Often, the only way to enforce those rights is to challenge illegally obtained evidence in court. Cases where the police outright falsify evidence are rare. Still, it is possible that the officers who arrested you did something like failing to read you your Miranda rights or pulled over your vehicle without a reasonable suspicion that you were committing a crime.

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