On June 3, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that it was legal for police to take a DNA swap from anyone arrested for a serious crime. A practice already used by many states already, including New Jersey, this allows for the police to be able to identify an arrestee and check to see if they had committed any previous crimes. 13 states collect samples from people arrested for any felony crime, while 15 collect samples from people arrested for violent or sexual crimes. New Jersey is one of the latter states, only collecting DNA samples for certain violent crimes.
This is extremely useful to police. A DNA swap after an arrest can prove guilt of a crime committed years before the arrest. This has in fact happened several times, one example being a man in Ohio arrested for abducting a 15 year old girl. After taking his DNA they discovered a match to a rape case from almost a decade ago and convicted him of both crimes. This is a useful tactic to catch criminals for previously unsolved cases.
While this may help close unsolved cases, some people are worried about the future of this process. Will it stop at felony crime, or will one day being arrested for anything be enough to take a DNA sample. Justice Antonin Scalia said after the ruling, "Make no mistake about it: Because of today's decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason," which begs the question: where do we draw the line?
However, if you are found not guilty of the crime you were arrested for, you are not doomed to remain in the DNA database. You have the right to expunge the record from the database under Title 53 of New Jersey Statutes.
Any questions about this procedure can be directed to LS&P Lawyers. We are available 24/7 and have offices conveniently placed in New Jersey.