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DNA Collection Law Passed Last Year Will Take Effect New Year's Day

The law allows officers to swab a person's cheek for a DNA sample during the booking process if they are arrested for a felony.

STATEHOUSE --  Starting January 1, police in Indiana will be required to collect DNA samples from people arrested for felonies, even if they have not been formally charged or convicted. 

Senate Enrolled Act 322, authored by State Senators Erin Houchin (R-Salem) and Joe Zakas (R-Granger), requires arrested individuals to submit to a DNA cheek swab during the booking process.

The sample will be expunged if:

  • Felony charges are not filed within one year of arrest;
  • Felony charges are downgraded to a misdemeanor; 
  • The accused is acquitted on all felony charges.

“DNA profiling is an accurate, widely used tool that will help law enforcement solve crimes and convict those who are responsible,” Sen. Houchin said. “Since serious criminals often go on to commit numerous additional crimes before they are caught and convicted, the collection of DNA upon felony arrest will save lives." 

"Collecting DNA samples on felony arrests will help prevent serious crimes and can also be used to exonerate the innocent,” said Sen. Zakas. This bill should improve our criminal justice system in a substantial way. I look forward to seeing the success this law will have.” 

Indiana is the 31st state to allow officers to collect DNA samples during the booking process. Several opponents have argued its constitutionality, but the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the practice is constitutional. 

(PHOTO: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

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