Is DNA evidence enough to secure a criminal conviction?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense

At one time, the presence of DNA in crimes of violence (assault, sex offenses, homicides, etc.) was the gold standard in securing a conviction. If a prosecutor got their hands on verifiable DNA evidence, they had a better chance of swaying courts and juries.

DNA still plays a vital role in criminal prosecution, but it is not infallible and is rarely the sole piece of evidence prosecutors present these days. For those charged with a serious crime, the imperfections associated with DNA may offer hope.

Touch DNA complicates evidence

Most living beings shed DNA constantly. We lose skin cells when we touch things, for example.

If you accept a mug of coffee from someone’s hand, you will pick up trace amounts of their DNA. You will also pick up the touch DNA of anyone else who held the cup or touched the individual who gave it to you.

In this way, trace DNA travels from person to person without our awareness. If you shake hands with someone shortly after they committed a crime, you might acquire enough of their DNA for law enforcement officers to add your name the suspect list.

The takeaway

You can challenge any form of evidence when you believe it is invalid for some reason (such as mishandling errors and testing mistakes as well as DNA. However, most people would not know how or when to do so without experienced legal guidance. Even if the prosecution claims to have irrefutable evidence against you, it’s important to understand that there may still be possible effective defenses for you.

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