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Forensic evidence could be the key to suspect's criminal defense

By Daniel T. Geherin

You probably know that some criminal cases can take a long time to resolve, especially sexual assault cases. Although every other show on television is a police show, making it look easy to bring a case together and go to trial, the reality is that some of the most complicated cases can take months, or even years, to reach a conclusion. 

Allegations of sexual assault often depend heavily on the testimony of the alleged victim, but if you were arrested after the police investigation reportedly connected you to a crime via DNA this could favor their case and not yours. 

If the prosecution's facts include the presentation of scientific evidence, including the details of the alleged DNA identification, it will be extremely important for the criminal defense to be knowledgeable in the use and legality of forensic evidence. Without expertise on your side, you could face a lengthy prison sentence.

How is DNA Evidence Found?

Anytime you touch an object or person, there’s potential for the transfer of cells containing DNA. Here are some circumstances that could lead to Criminal Sexual Conduct charges: 

  • sexual penetration without a condom and with ejaculation
  • sexual penetration without a condom and without ejaculation
  • digital penetration, depending on the circumstances
  • oral sex (leaving saliva on or around the genitals of the alleged victim)
  • placing one's mouth on any part of the alleged victims' body
  • placing one's mouth on the alleged victims clothing (transferring saliva in the same way)

How Will I Know If There is DNA Evidence Against Me?

Your criminal defense attorney in Ann Arbor will obtain evidence through "discovery." You have the right to see any evidence that the prosecution intends to use against you, as well as any evidence that is helpful to your defense. If DNA evidence is sought by the investigating police agency, they believe there’s some likelihood that DNA may be present. If it comes back matching your DNA, then the prosecution will use the evidence against you. In that case, you would be entitled to the evidence under the Michigan criminal discovery rules. If your DNA is not found, then your criminal defense attorney should argue that that fact is "exculpatory" (or tending to show innocence), and you’re likewise entitled to that evidence in the event you wish to present it in your own defense. This may require filing a special motion.

If a loved one or you have been arrested for sexual assault and want to talk about your rights,  please contact us online, or call us 24/7 at (734) 263-2780.