The search for evidence that could be used against you begins from the time you become a suspect. While there are constitutionally-defined limits on search and seizure by the police, the trend in the law has been to broaden the scope of what can be taken from you when it comes to scientific or biological evidence.
Despite this trend, many people have been exonerated. The Innocence Project, founded to help people who have been wrongfully convicted and sent to prison, seeks to prove innocence through forensic DNA testing. The organization has freed dozens of people across the nation, including those who were wrongfully convicted in Maryland.
But lab analysis of DNA and blood-alcohol content works against the accused as much as it helps the innocent, for reasons I will explain below. I am Baltimore criminal attorney Jim Crawford, and since 1992 I've been representing people who have been accused of crimes throughout Maryland, arguing against the use of scientific lab analysis as evidence against my clients when the police - or the law - go too far. For a free consultation, contact me at 443-701-4525 or toll free at 866-635-0623.
Why Lab Analysis Results Shouldn't be Admissible in Court
There are several government crime labs in Maryland, including the Baltimore County Forensic Science Laboratory and the Baltimore City Police Crime Laboratory. The Maryland State Police also operates a crime lab, and private labs throughout Maryland perform forensic DNA testing and blood-alcohol content analysis, among other things.
I represent people in the following situations involving lab analysis:
- When you are a suspect. In DWI cases, for example, suspected drunk driving may lead to a blood draw, in which your blood is analyzed for its blood-alcohol content to determine whether or not you are over the limit.
- After you have been arrested and/or charged. For an expanding list of crimes that include violent crimes and sex offenses (and some states are even starting to push lab testing for misdemeanor crimes) the police are free to collect scientific evidence from you - but that doesn't mean it's admissible in court.
- Post-conviction testing. Backlogs and mishandling have been shown to increase the likelihood of inaccurate results and wrongful convictions. Testing after a conviction could lead to exoneration in some cases, or provide new evidence that wasn't available at trial.
I have handled thousands of cases in Maryland. Over the years, I've watched the law develop regarding lab analysis and what is and isn't admissible against you in a court of law. Contact me, a Maryland defense attorney, at 443-701-4525 or toll free at 866-635-0623 to discuss your options.