According to Chesa Boudin, San Francisco’s District Attorney, the DNA taken from sexual assault survivors is being used to help investigations into other crimes that are not even related to the sexual assault victim. One example was a woman who was found and charged with a felony property crime who was the victim of a rape in 2016. In this case, the DNA from the woman from her rape examination was used as evidence against her in her felony case.
Supposedly, the San Francisco DA’s office has said that this was not an isolated case where the practice was used. Instead, it was the standard operating procedure. If these claims are true, this raises serious legal questions about how the government is collecting and using DNA.
How Has the San Francisco Police Responded to the Allegations?
San Francisco’s Police Chief, Bill Scott, appears to be engaging in a proactive response to the allegations. According to SFPD Chief Scott, there will be an investigation. If the investigation shows that the DNA of victims is a tool that is being used to find answers to other crimes, then the practice will stop.
DNA is an incredibly powerful tool to locate potential lawbreakers and convict them of their charges in California and across the rest of the United States. Because of this, police departments far and wide collect DNA and catalog it as a resource when they are looking for criminals.
California DNA collection laws allow police department crime labs to be able to establish their own databases which are not linked to those that the federal and state government have. These labs can analyze their samples without any oversight and regulation.
One of the primary concerns of this practice is the potential negative effects it will have on victims. Meaning, that if a person is victimized by a crime, they may be less inclined to come forward and report what happened to them out of fear that their DNA could be used against them in the future.
Whether this practice is standard or not is still being adjudicated. But many police departments around the country have come forward to deny that these practices are widely used in criminal investigations. In other words, a victim’s DNA is never used as a means to investigate other crimes.
If you were charged with a crime in San Diego, it is imperative that you have legal counsel on your side that is experienced and skilled to secure the best outcome possible for your case. One way your San Diego criminal defense attorney may be able to dismantle the prosecution’s argument against you is to show that evidence used was illegally obtained and therefore needs to be thrown out. When this happens, a case can be dismissed regardless of its strength.
Speak to a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Today
To improve your chances of overcoming your charges and getting the best results for your case, call on the San Diego criminal defense lawyer David M. Boertje for support. Initial consultations are always free. Schedule yours today at (619) 229-1870 for the San Diego office or (760) 476-0901 for the Carlsbad location.