The Police Are Asking For My DNA
Have you been approached by the police and asked for a DNA sample? There may be several reasons for this: they may want to determine whether or not you were present at a crime scene, rule you out as a suspect, or to test if you have been driving under the influence. You may be wondering if you have the right to refuse a sample in these situations, or what you should say. Should you provide a sample to prove your innocence, or are you better off refusing to comply? Keep reading to find out what your best course of action is if this happens to you:
A DNA sample is obtained either by a hair sample, urine sample, saliva, a swab from your cheek, or a blood sample from your finger. Since DNA is unique to every individual (except for identical twins), it’s a useful way to determine or eliminate suspects. A sample might be requested from victims of a crime, witnesses, or suspects. If police are searching for a perpetrator in a general area, they may request samples from any individual who fits their profile.
For the police to forcefully obtain your DNA, you either need to be under arrest or already convicted of a crime. Police have the right to get a sample if they have a warrant or a court order that has been issued by a judge. They can also test you if they believe you are driving under the influence. Refusing to comply with a DNA sample when it is mandated by one of these conditions is a criminal offence; it will result in a charge of failure to comply with a demand. If the police are asking for your DNA but they do not have a warrant or other permission, immediately contact your lawyer.
Even if the police do not have permission to obtain your DNA, and you refuse to provide a sample, they may collect what’s referred to as cast-off DNA. This is when they collect a sample from a tissue, water glass, or other used object. If you are brought in for an interview, be careful about where you dispose of these materials; they might be collected and used against your will.
Some may be unwilling to refuse a DNA sample because they fear that it will make them appear guilty. It’s important to be aware of the consequences of contributing your DNA. You don’t know how long it will remain in the police’s database, and it may be used to wrongly identify you as the perpetrator of future crimes. Having your DNA stored in a database can make it more likely that you will be mistakenly identified for future crimes since your information is easily accessible.
Giving a DNA sample is an intimidating process. You might be concerned that it will incriminate you for an act you have not committed or be used against you in the future. Before you consent to give a DNA sample, you should seek advice from a Winnipeg criminal lawyer. Mattew Gould is an experienced attorney that’s available 24 hours a day; visit his website to contact him and learn more about your rights.