In many criminal cases, there is physical evidence. This can include things like biological specimens left at the scene of a crime and collected from a defendant. When a defendant has allegedly left cells at the scene of a crime, such as when the victim has skin from a perpetrator under his or her fingernails, this evidence is processed in a forensic laboratory.
Forensic laboratories are typically onsidered by jury members to operate under the highest scientific principles and to provide reliable evidence. Unfortunately, this is a myth. There are myriad problems with scientific labs that can undermine the reliability of evidence collected, tested, and used against defendants.
If you are accused of a crime in Nevada and there is physical evidence against you which is tested at a forensic laboratory, you need to talk with a Las Vegas defense lawyer about your options. Your attorney can help you try to make the jury doubt the evidence in order to increase the chances of an acquittal. Give LV Criminal Defense a call today to learn more.
Forensic lab is defined by Nevada Revised Statute 176.09117. According to this definition, a forensic lab is: “any laboratory designated pursuant to NRS 176.0917”. N.R.S. 176.0917 says that the Board of Commissioners within each Nevada county must designate a forensic laboratory whose job it is to conduct and oversee genetic marker analysis. In other words, the Board of Commissioners selects a laboratory which is in charge of doing DNA testing and other types of scientific testing required in criminal cases.
Many people learn a lot about forensic science from watching television shows like CSI and they come to believe forensic evidence is infallible and that forensic labs are professional. This can have an adverse impact on a defendant’s case because the jury will give great weight to forensic evidence presented by prosecutors. Juries may believe this forensic evidence obtained in lab testing should be trusted and should be enough to determine guilt has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
It is the job of a criminal defense lawyer to show a jury that forensic evidence really is not that reliable and that forensic labs cannot always be trusted. There is ample evidence of problems at forensic labs throughout the country, and in the past decade, dozens of scandals at labs nationwide have necessitated thousands of cases being re-tried.
The problem is so severe that the Department of Justice was forced to announce a plan to ensure prosecutors try to use only evidence processed by accredited labs. Unfortunately, many labs are not accredited, including some publicly-funded crime labs. There are also problems with the accreditation process, which gives labs leeway to submit their own data showcasing their quality control standards in order to secure accreditation.
A good criminal defense lawyer will help defendants to illustrate all of the problems with forensic laboratories in the real world so juries do not automatically trust the evidence coming from these labs. With help from a Vegas criminal lawyer, many defendants will thus be able to secure acquittals, even when prosecutors purport to have solid scientific evidence of a crime being committed by the defendant.
You should never assume that DNA testing or other scientific testing from a forensic laboratory is necessarily going to mean a guilty verdict. You owe it to yourself to aggressively fight for your freedom, which means working to undermine a prosecutor’s evidence. A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can help you to find experts, present your own scientific testimony, and convince a jury to acquit, even with scientific evidence.
To learn more about your options for fighting conviction and to get help dealing with forensic evidence, contact LV Criminal Defense. Our legal team will fight hard on your behalf from day one to avoid conviction or reduce penalties. Call now to find out more.