Widely available DNA testing has changed our society as few other innovations of the past several decades have. DNA paternity testing makes situations like the premise behind the song “Billie Jean” a lot less scary, because genetic paternity is no longer unknowable. For better or worse, DNA testing enables us to identify genetic kinship with distant relatives we never knew we had. It is possible to find out whether a stranger who bears an uncanny physical resemblance to you is actually a distant relative by blood. In the 1990s, Leonard Pitts, a Miami Heraldjournalist, wrote a series of columns about traveling to Benin to meet people who DNA testing had revealed were his distant relatives, many generations removed. Transnational adoptees can find their genetic relatives even when they have no language in common with them. On the other hand, consumer DNA testing can lead to uncomfortable conversations among family members when your DNA says that you are not as closely related to your siblings as you thought you were. And then there are those sleazy estate research firms that encourage people to show up to probate court with DNA test results and demands for money from the estate of a recently deceased person whose family never expected long-lost relatives to come out of the woodwork. Nowhere are the effects of DNA testing more momentous than in criminal law. DNA evidence can exonerate the innocent, but it can also brand you as a criminal in ways that feel even more invasive than having your arrest records show up on background checks. A Texas sex crime attorney can help you if DNA testing requirements are compounding your legal troubles.
Do Sex Offenders Have to Provide a DNA Sample to the Local Police Department?
If the court orders you to register as a sex offender as one of the conditions of your sentence, you must notify the local police department of your residential address, employer, and social media profiles. If your conviction was for sexual assault, then you must also provide a DNA sample. Every time you move to a new jurisdiction, you must provide a new DNA sample.
Earlier this year, Gerard Jackson got arrested for failing to provide a DNA sample when he moved to Beaumont, Texas. The conditions of his sex offender registration require him to provide a DNA sample to local authorities every time he moves to a new city. Jackson, 41, was convicted in Washington state in 2003, and he served a prison sentence. After his release from prison, he moved to Beaumont, which has become famous for its large population of registered sex offenders, because, compared to most other cities, it has fewer child safety zones where registered sex offenders are forbidden to reside.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC About Sex Crime Cases
A criminal defense attorney can help you avoid convictions that would give law enforcement access to your DNA wherever you go. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC to discuss your case.