Roberts Law Group PLLC

North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

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DNA Collection For North Carolina Felony Charge

Just over a year ago, North Carolina began requiring a DNA sample from anyone charged with a higher-level felony offense including, among others, murder, manslaughter, rape, other sex offenses, kidnapping, most felony assaults, stalking and cyberstalking.

A cheek swab is taken when an accused individual is processed by law enforcement. Cheek cells contain the individual's DNA. The swab sample is then shipped to the North Carolina State Board of Investigation (SBI) for processing. Once the DNA analysis is complete, the information is uploaded into CODIS -- the Combined DNA Index System -- and is accessible by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as other law enforcement agencies.

Those who refuse to give a DNA sample during booking will not be allowed to post bond to get out of jail until law enforcement is allowed to take the sample. The collection of DNA for anyone charged with a higher-level felony cost North Carolina almost $1 million in 2011.

Once a DNA sample is processed, the SBI must destroy the sample and DNA record if:

  • The charges are dropped or dismissed
  • The individual is acquitted of the crimes charged
  • The charges are reduced to a misdemeanor
  • The felony charge is barred by the statute of limitations
  • The case is no longer being prosecuted and three or more years have passed from the date of the arrest

After June 1, prosecutors must request the DNA profiles taken from individuals who no longer meet the criteria for DNA sample collection be destroyed. Prior to that date, the individual must request destruction of his or her DNA sample.

Source: Hickory Daily Record, "New law widens crime-fighting net," Sarah Newell Williamson, May 5, 2012

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