Criminal Defense in Orange County

U.S. Supreme Court DNA Ruling

The United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, decided law enforcement can take DNA from a defendant charged with a serious crime. The majority stated taking DNA was like fingerprinting or photographing, a legitimate law enforcement function.

Justice Scalia, dissenting, correctly stated seizing DNA is a fourth amendment violation. He said DNA is not seized to show identity, like fingerprints and photography, but to clear up cold cases. The fourth amendment forbids searches conducted without reasonable suspicion.

Justice Scalia pointed out the result of this decision is that DNA will ultimately be taken for whatever reason. Many people may look at this decision and say "so what". They will think if you haven't committed a crime, you have nothing to be afraid of. These people are missing the point.

As Americans, we are blessed with certain rights and liberties. However, these rights and liberties are finite. It is unlikely anyone would come along and destroy the fourth amendment with one blow. It can, however, be destroyed with a hundred little bites. First the court says DNA can be taken in only serious cases, next it's dui cases, then theft cases and ultimately any case.

There is a sizeable percentage of Americans who wish to restrict your rights, whether it is search and seizure, the right to keep and bear arms or any other right. These people make good arguments for their restrictions. But, the ultimate loser will be you. Once rights are lost, they do not return.

Protect your rights. Contact the law office of Barney B. Gibbs if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime. Put his 30 years of experience and knowledge to work for you.

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