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  • If I’m Convicted, Will My Information Go into CODIS?

    Posted on by JACK MKHITARIAN


    Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Explain CODIS and DNA Sampling – Know Your Rights!

    You may have heard the term “CODIS” if you watch a lot of crime dramas on TV. But, CODIS is not something that Hollywood crafted up; it is a real national database.

    CODIS is the acronym for the Combined DNA Index System. This is a program run by the FBI to support criminal justice and state-level DNA databases. The National DNA Index System (NDIS) is part of CODIS. NDIS operates at the national level, where DNA profiles are contributed by the state, federal and local participating laboratories.

    If you are convicted of a crime, you may be wondering if your information would be added into CODIS, and what that means for the rest of your life.

    How DNA Databases Work

    When a crime is committed, such as a sexual assault case, the evidence kit is collected from the victim of the crime. The DNA profile of the suspected perpetrator is then developed from that kit. The unknown profile that belongs to the suspect is then searched against the state and federal database of other convicted offenders and arrestees.

    If there is a match, the index will notify the laboratory that is performing the test.

    What Happens When a Match is Identified?

    Not all DNA profiles entered into CODIS generate a match. If one does prompt the system, it is important to note that these profiles are designed to compare a target DNA record against other records in the system. Once the match has been created, the laboratory involved will exchange information with the database to verify that the match is actually true – it does not solely rely on the database. The match is used to then establish probable cause, which allows the agency performing the test to obtain an evidentiary DNA sample from the suspect.

    What is Stored in CODIS?

    If your information is stored in the database, it will be your DNA profile. This includes your forensic DNA analysis, and a profile that consists of one or two alleles at the 13 CODIS Core Loci requirement.

    Names and personal identifiers are not included. Only the following is stored and searchable in the database:

    • Your DNA profile
    • The agency that submitted the DNA profile
    • The specimen’s identification number
    • The laboratory personnel that is associated with the profile analysis

    Will My Information Be Entered?

    If you are arrested, your DNA could still be entered into the database – even if you are not convicted of the crime. If convicted, the DNA profile collected will be updated on the NDIS and CODIS systems. This information could also be used later to conduct familial searches and partial matches.  These are notorious for generating false positives; therefore, it is critical that you have an attorney by your side from the moment when you are arrested.

    Do Not Consent to a DNA Sample – Contact an Attorney

    DNA may be state-of-the-art technology, but you do not have to oblige the request of law enforcement unless they have a signed order from a judge. You must, however, contact an attorney immediately if the police have detained you or are requesting DNA samples. The team at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices is here to protect your rights and privacy, and prevent you from being sampled just for a general comparison. Schedule a consultation with us today by calling 505-375-4672 or requesting more information online.