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Forensic testing in criminal cases

During and after a criminal arrest in Tennessee, law enforcement officers and many others on prosecution and defense teams may be actively involved in reviewing facts and evidence to support their assertions. This may even involve attempting to locate and collect additional materials to review. In many situations this involves biological materials such as DNA samples that must undergo forensic testing.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, there are many offenses for which such testing is a route part of. These include violent crimes such as manslaughter, homicide, burglary, rape and other sex crimes, arson, aggravated assault and more. When submitting samples for testing and review, a form must be completed that details the item to be tested, the location from which it was obtained and any other pertinent facts of the case.

Testing may also review gunshot residue to look for traces of lead, barium or antimony but this may not be done on someone who was injured by a gunshot as they would naturally have these materials on them. Therefore this testing would not be able to indicate whether or not the person could have fired the weapon in the same way that it could if a person had not obviously come into contact with the weapon or its ammunition.

If you would like to learn more about the types of scientific testing that may be done to collect or verify evidence in a criminal proceeding, please feel free to visit the forensic lab and testing page of our Tennessee criminal defense website.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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