It does happen all the time that criminal cases occur and the prosecutors, or even defense, do DNA testing. It typically happens for the prosecutors through the police. They do DNA testing. They have laboratories. Depending on what type of a crime – whether it's a sex crime, a murder or some other serious offense – the police will send DNA evidence to laboratories who then conduct DNA testing and once the DNA testing is complete, they submit a report that is then distributed to the prosecution and defense. Then ultimately, those individuals can be called upon to testify – either at a preliminary hearing, criminal trial or both – on the results of the DNA testing.
DNA Testing is a Lengthily Procedure
One big problem as far as DNA testing goes in Los Angeles County – and probably across the country – is how long it takes to do. There're so many DNA test results that need to be verified and checked. It is a long procedure. It does take time and there's limited man or women power to do this DNA testifying in Los Angeles County.
I've seen DNA testing take months, even years, to complete. In a big murder case, sometimes the testing is very important and they try to put a priority on the DNA testing, and therefore, other DNA testing takes a backseat to that.
The prosecutors and police do have processes in place where they can try to get the DNA laboratories to put a rush on the DNA testing depending on the type of a case and if the case is going to go to trial and they need the DNA evidence in order to successfully prosecute somebody.
There're also people who are trying to appeal their cases and trying to do DNA testing. DNA Evidence in sex crime cases is an effective tool for law enforcement and prosecutors to show a defendant committed a crime.
DNA Testing is Expensive
So, then it comes to DNA testing in Los Angeles County and throughout California courthouses, sometimes it can be very difficult to get the tests conducted and very difficult for criminal defendants to use DNA testing themselves because it's costly. Usually, what you have to do if you don't have the funds to do DNA testing in Los Angeles County, you're going to have the court appoint an expert who can be paid by the court system in order to do the DNA testing. Or get your own DNA experts in order to challenge DNA evidence that might be presented by the prosecution in a criminal case, in your trial or at your preliminary hearing.
I do see a lot of DNA testing being done in sex crime cases in order to prove that somebody had some sort of sexual intercourse with the victim of the sex crime and they call DNA experts all the time at the preliminary hearing and during the trial.
So, DNA evidence is definitely the type of evidence that can be utilized in a criminal case. If you have a case that involves DNA evidence, you're going to want to get your own expert. You're going to want to get a criminal defense lawyer that knows how to challenge DNA evidence and also knows how to produce their own DNA evidence and use experts in order to properly defend your case and get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.
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