DNA Testing in Arizona Could Rapidly Expand
You probably see advertisements for DNA testing every day on the TV, radio, or online. DNA testing has come a long way from being a tool used only by top scientists and law enforcement agencies. Now, for a relatively low cost, anyone can get a DNA analysis.
Arizona recently discussed a massive expansion to who would be required to provide a DNA sample to the state.
The legislation was proposed that would require parent school volunteers, teachers, real estate agents, and foster parents to provide DNA samples. In fact, the bill proposed by Sen. David Livingston, R-Peoria, would require DNA to be collected from anyone who must be fingerprinted for a job or volunteer position.
The proposed bill suggested that the Department of Public Safety maintain the DNA samples along with a person’s name, date of birth, last known address, and Social Security number.
Who would have access to this information?
The collected DNA information could be used by law enforcement during a criminal investigation and it could also be shared with other government agencies across the country.
Is This Legal?
You may wonder if this bill would actually be legal. Can a state government require its citizens to turn over such information? There is actually a federal law in place called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act that prevents employers from using DNA testing as a condition of employment.
This bill, if passed, you likely encounter a myriad of legal challenges to its Constitutionality. Which is likely why it was scaled back.
The Results Of Legislation So Far
Sen. Livingston introduced an amendment to his bill that would change the requirements to require DNA samples only from professionals “who care for patients with intellectual disabilities in an intermediate care facility.”
This change dramatically scales back the original scope of the bill. The bill seems to focus on the recent case of the healthcare worker at Hacienda HealthCare in which a worker impregnated one of the long-term care patients. He was caught because law enforcement investigating the case required that DNA samples be submitted from the facilities male workers and volunteers.
The bill, SB 1475, is still in the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee as of the time of this writing. Even with the changes, it will likely encounter legal challenges.
Back To At-Home DNA Tests
Major DNA testing companies have created massive databases of genetic information.
Law enforcement is taking advantage of this information. You may remember the recent case of the “Golden State Killer” who was caught and suspected of more than twelve murders and dozens of rapes committed in the 1970s and 80s. The only way he was caught was due to law enforcement matching his DNA to the DNA of the man’s family member who had submitted their own for genealogical purposes.
Police did not use a warrant to do any of this and it leaves an open question of whether or not law enforcement should have access to this information in the first place. Right now, investigators can, and do, submit suspect’s DNA to open-source databases without their knowledge or consent.
If You Are Charged With A Crime
In Arizona, the only time DNA is collected from someone is if they have been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor sex crime. If you have been charged with a serious crime, please seek assistance from a skilled and qualified Arizona defense attorney. You do not want to risk your future on an overworked public defender. You need someone who will examine the facts of your case and work diligently to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Click here for information on social media evidence in criminal cases in Arizona.