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Bill proposes change to Wisconsin law on DNA samples

Unique issues can come up for individuals facing violent crime allegations. One reason this is the case is because special rules apply to certain types of violent crime cases. For example, certain types of violent crime accusations and arrests trigger special requirements regarding what a suspect will be subjected to.

An example of this are the requirements triggered when a person is arrested in relation to an alleged violent felony here in Wisconsin. Under state law, when a person has been so arrested, police are to take a sample of their DNA. There is also a requirement that this sample be sent to the crime lab of the state’s Justice Department.

The government having a sample of their DNA is something a person may feel quite strongly about. Thus, one thing a person who has had such a sample taken from them in relation to a felony violent crime arrest may wonder is what will happen with the DNA sample if they are ultimately found not guilty.

Under current law, if an individual arrested in relation to an alleged violent felony is found not guilty, the individual can make a request for the DNA samples taken from them and the records related to the samples to be destroyed. In the absence of such a request, however, state law does not require the state to get rid of such samples and records.

A bill proposed here in Wisconsin seeks to change this. This bill would make it so the state would automatically be required to destroy these kinds of DNA samples and records when individuals arrested on a violent felony are found not guilty. Thus, requests would no longer be needed for such destruction.

Do you think this proposed change to Wisconsin law should be made?

Skilled violent crime defense attorneys understand the special rules that some types of violent crime cases can trigger and can give violent crime defendants help and guidance with the special issues their particular case raises.

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio, “State Lawmakers Pushing Bill Mandating DOJ Destroy DNA Samples,” Dec, 31, 2015

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