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DNA collection upon arrest

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2019 | Assault Crimes |

When arrested in South Carolina, individuals may have to provide a DNA sample as part of the routine booking process. This is a highly controversial thing because some feel it is a violation of rights. Specifically, they have concern over it being a wrongful search and seizure. However, according to NPR, the Supreme Court ruled taking DNA after an arrest for a serious crime is legal.

The Court’s decision said that taking DNA is similar to taking photos and fingerprints. It is evidence to help ensure the person is not a suspect in another crime. It can help reduce flight risks and increase the chances of solving cold cases. They said there is no rights violation because it is a reasonable search and seizure, which the law does allow. It is important to note that the Court’s ruling does not apply to lesser crimes. However, states generally set their own laws regarding DNA collection, which may differ from the opinions of the Court.

The National Conference of State Legislatures explains in this state, a person is tested if he or she is arrested for any felony offense. In addition, arrests for stalking and peeping also allow for the collection of DNA. This occurs during the booking process, alongside the other common boking procedures. Law enforcement will not collect DNA from juveniles, and if a court finds a person not guilty or is not formally charged, law enforcement removes his or her DNA from the system. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not legal advice.

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