Although a new state late requiring Florida felony suspects to submit DNA samples to police goes into effect next January, it’s unclear whether the law will be enforced due to financial woes. Officials in Palm Beach and Broward County say they are still trying to determine how much the extra DNA collection would cost and where the money will come from.
Currently, Florida collects DNA only after someone is convicted of a felony. But, state officials say, collecting DNA at the time of arrest and including the information in a national database could help identify repeat offenders and prevent future victims of rape, assault, and other felonies. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will oversee DNA collection.
Twenty-three other states have already enacted laws regarding the DNA of felony suspects. However, the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the law in California, because the person has not yet been convicted of a crime and they say DNA should be private.
Source: Advocates in South Florida push to implement new law that takes DNA upon felony arrests, South Florida Sun Sentinel, October 12, 2010
DNA image courtesy of Richard Wheeler (Zephyris)
Contact the South Florida felony defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert if you been arrested and charged with a crime. Our skilled attorneys are available to offer a free initial consultation and explain your legal options.