Recently I've been asked by many people about DNA, in particularly, do you have to give your DNA upon demand by the police? I've also been asked many times what happens to your DNA when taken, and what are your legal rights.
First, your DNA is just that, your DNA. It's something that belongs to you. But there are circumstances when police can request that you give DNA, and circumstances, although rare, when a judge can order a DNA sample be given. But the short answer is... no one can take your DNA without due process!
First, if you're asked to give a DNA sample, ALWAYS consult an attorney. This is your personal human genetic code and should never be taken lightly. It's like giving a confession to police or voluntarily giving up a right. The police can always ask, but it's your right to say NO!
Secondly, if a judge orders you to give a DNA sample, you must comply. Judges are very shy and hesitant about giving an order though, as without convincing probable cause that you committed a crime, no justification is warranted.
The twist is, in many cases when police suspect that you committed a crime involving DNA, such as rape, they won;'t ask, they could simply conduct surveillance of your day to day life and retrieve a sample. How? If you drink from a glass or can soda, a discarded cigarette butt, if you spit on the sidewalk, anything where your saliva or skin cells are secreted, and that's almost everything! If you discard anything that you used in public, it's fair game for them to retrieve it, even your garbage!
After your DNA is retrieved, the police will run it in a sytem called CODIS, which stands for Combined DNA Index System. It's simply a repository of collected DNA samples taken from felons, criminals, and other crimes across America. They'll compare your DNA to the DNA on its files, and if your DNA matches, it's called a"hit".
Police, through the Codis System, must apply your DNA to a specific case. They cannot request it or order it through a judge just to run a fishing expedition to see if you committed ANY crimes. It's specific and pertains to an open case, or a cold case ( an old unsolved crime). But if the 'hit" pertains to another crime while checking on a specific crime, you can be arrested for that crime!
As many of you know, I not a big advocate for giving ANYONE anything without DUE PROCESS... meaning a legal requirement. Too many times I've seen police officers misused their powers and so therefore I always advise people to consult their attorneys. The founding fathers wrote the constitution requiring due process. It's your right! You don't have to explain your rights, be ashame of your rights, or be intimidated to giving up your rights. If unsure, simply refuse and see an attorney!
DNA have solved many crimes; and it has also prove that many were innocent of crimes. Just treat it as your right, and always, whenever in doubt about your legal problems, say NO and speak to an attorney!