DNA Bank – Pros and Cons of Participating

As previously mentioned in the Deferred Entry of Judgment blog article, a defendant can perform certain court-ordered tasks or complete a program which will result in the dismissal of a criminal case. This saves the defendant from having to enter a plea, any possible punishments resulting therefrom, and the headaches of going deep into a trial.

One such condition, which is very commonly sought by the district attorneys, is the defendant’s voluntary participation in the DNA bank. DA’s frequently ask the defendant to give a DNA sample so they can add it to a large, ever-growing database of DNA, in exchange for the dismissal of a case or a reduction of penalties. The bank is a project of the prosecution, which aims to get DNA from as many individuals as possible so that future criminals or those involved in proceedings will be easily located and identified in the system.

Participation in the database comes with a cost. Many believe that the system, which is used to catch criminals in the future, is not going to do anything for those offered this deal. If minor offenses are to be deferred by giving a sample, then the system will be filled with minor offenders that are unlikely to commit crimes again. If the goal is to identify serious offenders, then making DUI and traffic ticket offenders give DNA seems pointless. Also, there is a privacy issue. Giving a sample of one’s DNA is thought to be a major genetic privacy breach, and offering a dismissal for this breach of privacy may seem unethical. Furthermore, many defendants, in an effort to preserve these privacy rights, will decline the option to give a sample and face a punishment for a crime the DA has already said is small enough to be diverted.

However, the there are some benefits to participating in the DNA bank. After giving a sample, the individual will have no charges, and will not have to disclose an arrest to future employers. His record will remain clean, as well. Also, the greater good may be served via participation because the larger the database grows, the easier it is to identify perpetrators of serious crimes, which is highly beneficial to society as a whole. Lastly, defendants are given the option to contribute, so they do have the power to decline.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, or their professional license is at risk, contact Attorney Miranda McCroskey for an immediate consultation at (833) 865-6253 or email her at info@unlocklegal.com.

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