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DNA Collection Upon Arrest: State Statutes | Federal Laws
Challenges in the Courts: State Courts | Federal Courts
Commentary and Other Resources: Law Reviews and Journals | Newspaper, Magazine and Internet Articles | Studies Conducted | Additional Resources

DNA Collection upon Arrest

August 2019

A new wave of legislation is sweeping across the nation with nearly half of the states currently requiring the pretrial collection of DNA samples from individuals who are arrested for various crimes but not yet convicted. Collected DNA samples are submitted to the Combined DNA Index System ("CODIS") and are compared against other DNA profiles in CODIS. The states listed below have enacted laws requiring arrestees to submit DNA samples. However, the laws are not uniform among the states. Several states, including Maryland and Tennessee require a probable cause hearing prior to the DNA being loaded into a DNA database. Some states, such as Alabama, California, and Florida require DNA samples to be submitted if an individual is arrested for committing any felony offense. Other states, including Arizona, Maryland, and New Mexico require DNA samples to be submitted only in cases where an individual is arrested for a violent felony such as murder or sexual assault. Additionally, state laws vary whether juveniles must submit DNA samples upon arrest. Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, and South Carolina specifically include juveniles while other states do not. The relevant federal statutes are also listed below.

State Statutes - click the links to access the statutes

Alabama Code § 36-18-25(c)(1) (2013)

Alaska Stat. § 44.41.035(b)(6) (2013) - 44.41.035

Arizona Rev. Stat. § 13-610(K) (2013)

Arkansas Stat. Ann. § 12-12-1006(a)(2) (2013)

California Penal Code § 296(a)(2) (2013)

Colorado Rev. Stat. § 16-23-103(1)(a) (2013)
PDF, page 363

Connecticut Gen. Stat. 54-102g(a) (2013)

Florida Stat. Ann § 943.325(2)(g)2.c (2013)

Illinois Comp. Stat. Ann. Tit. 730 5/5-4-3 (2013) ***(a-3.2)

Kansas Stat. Ann. § 21-2511 (2012)

Louisiana Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:609 (2012)

Maryland Public Safety Code Ann. § 2-504 (2013)
Intake to a correctional facility. Justia:

Michigan Comp. Laws § 750.520m (2009)

Minnesota Stat. § 299C.11, 105 (2009)

Mississippi Code Ann. 45-47-1

Missouri Rev. Stat. § 350.055 (2013)

Nevada Stat. § 176.0913

New Mexico Stat. Ann. § 29-3-10 (2013)!b/29-3-10

North Carolina Gen Stat. Ann § 15A-266.3A(b) (2013)

amends N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-266.3a, 502A (2010)

North Dakota Cent. Code § 31-13-03 (2011) (2009)

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § (2013)

Oklahoma 74 Okla. Stat. Ann § 150.27a(A)(3)

Rhode Island 12 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 12.1.5-8

South Carolina Code Ann. § 23-3-620 (2012)

South Dakota Codified Laws Ann. § 23-5A-5.2 (2013)

Texas Government Code Ann. § 411.1471(a)(2) (2013)

Tennessee Code Ann. § 40-35-321(e)(1) (2013)

Utah Senate Bill 277 (2010)

Vermont Stat. Ann. Tit. § 20 1933 (2009), effective July 1, 2011

Virginia Code § 19.2-310.2:1 (2013)

Wisconsin Stat. § 165.76(gm) (2013)

Federal Laws

DNA Identification

28 C.F.R. § 28.12 Collection of DNA samples

Challenges in the Courts

Several lawsuits have been filed in both state and federal courts challenging the constitutionality of the above listed statutes. The cases have resulted in conflicting outcomes. California and Virginia state courts have upheld the constitutionality of the laws in their respective states but a Minnesota court declared its law unconstitutional. There is similar discourse among the federal courts. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the relevant federal law but another district court held the law to be unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court has not ruled on a case addressing the constitutionality of a state or federal statute requiring the extraction of DNA upon arrest. The Court has denied certiorari in several cases.

State Courts

In 2009, the ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking to enjoin the enforcement of California Penal Code § 296(a)(2)(C), which provides for the mandatory DNA sampling of felony arrestees in the State of California. The injunction was denied.

Haskell v. Brown, 677 F. Supp. 2d 1187 (N.D. Cal. 2009).

Appellee's brief

An Indiana Court of Appeals held that a cheek swab administered pursuant to Ind. Code section § 10-13-6-10 in order to obtain a DNA sample is "minimally invasive" and only requires officers to have "reasonable suspicion," not probable cause.

Garcia-Torres v. State, 914 N.E.2d 268 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009).

The decision was transferred and the opinion vacated. 919 N.E.2d 560 (Va. 2009).

In Brieger v. State, 2010 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1014, the Court noted that the opinion in Garcia-Torres had been vacated and held that taking a cheek swab amounts to a search and is subject to the Fourth Amendment's probable cause and warrant requirements.

A Minnesota Court of Appeals held that Minn. Stat. § 299C.105 amounted to an unconstitutional search in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 10, of the Minnesota Constitution.

In the Matter of the Welfare of: C.T.L., Juvenile, 722 N.W.2d 484 (Minn. Ct. App. 2006).

The Virginia Supreme Court held that taking an arrestee's DNA sample pursuant to Code § 19.2-310.2:1 did not violate the Fourth Amendment and analogized it to taking a suspect's fingerprints upon arrest. The Court also held that the presentation of DNA evidence did not violate the Sixth Amendment.

Anderson v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 650 S.E.2d 702 (Va. 2007).

U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari, 2008 U.S. LEXIS 4189 (U.S., May 19, 2008).

Federal Courts

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that forcibly extracting a DNA sample from a detainee without a warrant, court order or reasonable suspicion violated the Fourth Amendment.

Friedman v. Boucher, 568 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2009).

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California held that "after a judicial or grand jury determination of probable cause has been made for felony criminal charges against a defendant, no Fourth Amendment or other Constitutional violation is caused by a universal requirement that a charged defendant undergo a 'swab test,' or blood test when necessary, for the purposes of DNA analysis to be used solely for criminal law enforcement, identification purposes."

U.S. v. Pool, 645 F. Supp. 2d 903 (E.D. Cal. 2009).

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling.

U.S. v. Pool, 621 F.3d 1213 (9th Cir. 2010).

In United States v. Mitchell, the defendant challenged the constitutionality of the federal arrestee statute that permits the pretrial collection of DNA. (42 U.S.C. § 14135a (a)(1)(A) and 28 C.F.R. § 28.12.) The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania disagreed with the District Court's analysis in U.S. v. Pool, (645 F. Supp. 2d 903) and held that DNA extraction "without independent suspicion or a warrant unreasonably intrudes on such defendant's expectation of privacy and is invalid under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

United States v. Mitchell, 681 F. Supp. 2d 597 (W.D. Pa. 2009).

Commentary and Other Resources

Law Reviews and Journals

Corey Preston, Note, Faulty Foundations: How the False Analogy To Routine Fingerprinting Undermines the Argument for Arrestee DNA Sampling, 19 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 475 (2010).

Robert Molko, The Perils of Suspicionless DNA Extraction of Arrestees underCalifornia Proposition 69: Liability of the California Prosecutor for Fourth Amendment Violation? The Uncertainty Continues in 2010, 37 W. St. U. L. Rev. 183 (2010).

Erin Murphy, Relative Doubt: Familial Searches of DNA Databases, 109 Mich. L. Rev. 291 (2010).

Derek Regensburger, DNA Databases and the Fourth Amendment: The Time Has Come to Reexamine the Special Needs Exception to the Warrant Requirement and the Primary Purpose Test, 19 Alb. L.J. Sci. & Tech. 319 (2009).

Brian Gallini, Step Out of the Car: License, Registration, and DNA Please, 62 Ark. L. Rev. 475 (2009).

John Maddux, Comment, Arresting Development: A Call for North Carolina to Expand Its Forensic Database by Collecting DNA from Felony Arrestees, 32 Campbell L. Rev. 103 (2009).

John D. Biancamano, Note, Arresting DNA: The Evolving Nature of DNA Collection Statutes and their Fourth Amendment Justifications, 70 Ohio St. L.J. 619 (2009).;sequence=1

Newspaper, Magazine and Internet Articles

ACLU Lawsuit Challenges California's Mandatory DNA Collection at Arrest

Chris Asplen, Injunction Denied, Forensic Magazine, February/March 2010

Ken Wallentine, Collection of DNA Upon Arrest: Expanding Investigative Frontiers, Police Chief, January 2010

Ronnie Garrett, DNA Saves, Law Enforcement Technology, February 2009

Justice Department Finds DNA Collection From Arrestees Overloads Backlog In Crime Labs, March 30, 2009

Peter Bibring, "Grim Sleeper" Case Doesn't Justify Expanding the Reach of DNA Databases, July 25, 2010

ACLU Letter to Congress Urging Opposition to an Amendment to H.R. 5057 Pertaining to the Collection of DNA Samples from Arrestees, July 14, 2008

U.S. to Collect DNA Samples from Arrested Immigrants, January 13, 2009

Gerald J. Turetsky, Albany's Deadly DNA Law, New York Post, June 24, 2010

Paula R. Ward, Do DNA 'Prints' Invade Privacy? Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, August 24, 2009

Studies Conducted on Collecting DNA Upon Arrest

Chicago's Study on Preventable Crimes

Maryland's Study on Preventable Crimes

Denver's Study on Preventable Crimes's-Study-on-preventable-crimes_11-9-2011.pdf

Jay Siegel and Susan D. Narveson, Why Arrestee DNA Legislation Can Save Indianan Taxpayers $50 Million Per Year, January 2009

Additional Resources

DNA Saves website

DNA Resource website