The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that law enforcement agencies can collect DNA samples from people who are arrested and submit these samples to state and national databases to help solve crimes. These samples might be obtained even from a simple arrest and charge that the person is never convicted of.
The Court found that this technological advancement in DNA would compare to fingerprinting when a person is booked into jail after an arrest. The Justices were divided in their decision, but the court upheld a conviction of a man convicted of a past crime by using DNA evidence from another arrest and opened the door to states to collect DNA evidence despite no conviction.
This case shows the sensitivity behind many criminal defense issues. Often, police try to take measures to convict a person, even if it is in violation of that person's rights. If the person doesn't understand their rights, they might be convicted and unable to defend themselves.
Speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney in New Jersey after an arrest might be a wise decision. They can help explain the charges that a person might face and work to form a rigorous criminal defense.
When someone faces charges for even the most minor crime, they might now be subjected to DNA sampling that could lead to a conviction of a much more serious crime. One of the Justices that disagreed with the majority of the Court related this concept of swabbing DNA of arrested peopel to swabbing DNA of everyone who boarded an airplane.
Source: USA Today, "Supreme Court OKs DNA swab of people under arrest," Richard Wolf, June 3, 2013