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New law forces some Michiganders to give DNA sample

Being arrested and facing criminal allegations can be a traumatizing matter. Mere accusations can be damaging to an individual’s reputation, harming both personal and professional relationships. A criminal conviction may mean an individual is subjected to serious penalties, including prison. Therefore, it is imperative that those facing serious charges, as well as everyday Michiganders, stay abreast of the law.

Governor Rick Snyder recently signed several bills into law that addressed the criminal justice system. One of the laws requires those who have been arrested on suspicion of committing a felony to give a DNA sample. Previously, only those arrested for certain violent offenses were forced to give a DNA sample, while others convicted of felonies were not required to submit unless they were convicted. Public officials hope that this new law will allow them to further their investigations by linking newly arrested individuals to previously committed crimes.

Unfortunately, this means that if an accused person is arrested for being suspected of a felony offense, the person will have to give a DNA sample, potentially opening that individual up to further prosecution. However, giving a DNA sample does not mean that an individual is automatically adjudicated as guilty. Instead, the person can have a in court. Even if DNA evidence seems to link an individual to a crime, doubt may still be raised as to the defendant’s guilt. Often times this is accomplished by illustrating faulty evidence collection techniques, breaks in the chain of custody and alibis.

As the law changes, so, too, do criminal defense strategies. Therefore, those who find themselves facing serious charges may want to explore their legal options to help them understand what they are up against and how best to fight it.

Source: Mlive.com, “New Michigan laws require DNA samples upon felony arrest, expand conviction expungement rules,” Kyle Feldscher, Jan. 12, 2015

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