The Game-Changing Role of DNA in Sexual Assault Cases

The Use of DNA Evidence Has Revolutionized the Criminal Justice System, Particularly in sexual Assault Cases. in California, as in Many Other Jurisdictions, DNA Technology Has Emerged as a Game-changer, Dramatically Impacting the Investigation, Prosecution, and Resolution of Sexual Assault Cases. With the Increased Public Interest in the True-crime Genre and Television Shows Like CSI, Juries Have Become More Easily Persuaded to Convict Where DNA Evidence Seems to Implicate the Defendant.

Exonerating the Innocent

The impact of DNA in sexual assault cases plays a significant role in exonerating the wrongfully accused. California, like many other states, has seen numerous cases where DNA testing led to the exoneration of individuals who were wrongly convicted of sexual assault crimes they did not commit. These wrongful convictions often result from mistaken eyewitness identifications, flawed forensic evidence, or coerced confessions.

DNA testing, in such cases, has proved invaluable in establishing the innocence of the wrongly accused. Post-conviction DNA testing has allowed individuals to present new evidence that was not available at the time of their trial. As a result, innocent individuals have been released from prison, allowing them to reclaim their lives after enduring years of wrongful incarceration.

Strengthening Prosecutions

DNA evidence also has the ability to significantly bolster the prosecution's case in sexual assault trials. DNA matches linking the defendant to the crime scene is extremely compelling evidence to juries. This scientific evidence carries substantial weight in court and often acts as a powerful persuader during trial proceedings. DNA evidence also has the potential to corroborate a complaining witness’s testimony, especially when consent is at issue or where there are conflicting accounts of the events.

Challenging the Evidentiary Value of DNA

Even if the prosecution has DNA evidence and plan on using it against a defendant at trial, it will not necessarily guarantee a conviction. In fact, DNA evidence can present challenges in sexual assault cases. For example, DNA samples can easily become contaminated during the collection, storage, and analysis process. Proper chain of custody procedures and laboratory protocols must be followed to minimize the risk of contamination and ensure the integrity of the evidence. Additionally, there may be cases where DNA evidence is not available or insufficient for analysis.

Overcoming DNA Evidence at Trial

If there is DNA evidence during a sexual assault trial, it is not a lost cause for the defense. DNA can help corroborate a defendant’s account of consensual sexual intercourse. Furthermore, if the DNA profile identifies multiple contributors, a defense attorney can argue that there is reasonable doubt to believe the defendant was not the perpetrator. Finally, a skilled defense attorney can file a motion to exclude the DNA evidence if there was improper chain of custody, police misconduct involved in the taking of the DNA, or if the DNA evidence is otherwise unreliable.

If you have been charged with or investigated for sexual assault, it is critical that you discuss your case immediately with a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut has extensive experience navigating the complexities of a sexual assault trial. Furthermore, Michael Kraut has successfully litigated motions to exclude DNA evidence and has helped to prevent criminal filings of alleged sexual assaults that occurred after consensual encounters.

For more information about the criminal justice process, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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