Biological evidence is frequently used in criminal cases, by both the plaintiff and the defense. There are certain requirements when it comes to obtaining and preserving biological evidence and defendants need to be aware of what the rules are and of how the rules affect their rights.
At LV Criminal Defense, we routinely provide assistance to people in cases wheres biological or scientific evidence is being presented. We work hard to help defendants undermine biological evidence presented by prosecutors that could help a prosecutor to prove guilt. We can also assist you in finding expert witnesses who can present scientific testimony on your behalf that helps in your quest towards an acquittal.
When biological evidence of any type is a factor in your criminal case, you need to be prepared and proactive. Juries tend to take all types of scientific evidence seriously and often give significant weight and credence to biological evidence. Your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can help you to try exploring all ways to make sure the biological evidence which is presented works for you, rather than working against you.
Because Nevada has many laws related to the preservation and presentation of biological evidence, it is important to have a clear definition of exactly what a biological specimen is. Nevada defines a biological specimen in Nevada Revised Statute 176.09112. According to the definition under Nevada law, a biological specimen is a “biological sample, tissue, fluid or other bodily sample suitable for genetic marker analysis, obtained from a person or from physical evidence.”
A biological sample may be found at the scene of a crime, such as when DNA is left under a victim’s fingernails or in a victim’s body. A biological specimen can also be obtained from a defendant. For example, you may be asked to voluntarily submit to a DNA test or you may be ordered by the court to submit to such testing when there is probable cause to believe that you committed a crime.
There are many different rules for biological specimens in Nevada. For example, under N.R.S. 176.0912, biological evidence in connection with an investigation into a criminal defendant generally must be preserved if the defendant has been convicted of a category A or category B felony. Any agency of criminal justice with a biological specimen in its possession has to keep this biological material until the expiration of any sentence which was imposed upon the defendant.
Another important Nevada rule requires a defendant to pay fees of $150 for obtaining the specimen and for conducting testing. N.R.S. 176.0915 specifies that the fee must be ordered pursuant to the extent of the defendant’s ability to pay it.
The fee has to be separately stated on the court document; has to be collected at the same time as fines are collected or before; and cannot be deducted from fines which are imposed by the court for criminal conduct. Having to pay a fee can be an additional burden on a defendant who may already be facing costly penalties, such as fines and restitution.
LV Criminal Defense understands the rules for biological specimens under Nevada law. We aggressively advocate for the rights of defendants to be secure in their bodily integrity and not to be forced to provide a biological specimen for testing without proper court processes taking place first. We also provide assistance to defendants in presenting their own biological evidence and in trying to make the jury doubt the veracity of scientific evidence the prosecutor uses to try to secure a guilty verdict.
To learn more about biological evidence in Nevada criminal defense cases, give our Las Vegas defense lawyers a call today.