Under a new law that has just been signed by Gov. Christie, persons who have been arrested for certain violent crimes in New Jersey will be required to submit DNA samples. The law expands the DNA sample requirements to those who are suspected of violent crimes, and not just those who are convicted of violent crimes.
The bill had been cleared by the assembly back in June, and cleared the Senate with a 33-2 vote. Under the new law S-737/A-2594, the DNA Database and Data Bank Act of 1994 has been amended to require DNA samples from persons who have been arrested for a number of violent crimes. These crimes include
- Second degree aggravated assault
- Luring or enticing a child
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated criminal sexual contact
- Criminal sexual contact
Additionally, the law would also make it a fourth degree crime for a person to knowingly refuse to submit a DNA sample. Persons convicted of refusal would be punished with a maximum of up to 18 months in jail, or fines of $10,000, or both. Under the law however, if a person is acquitted, or the case is dismissed, then he or she can request to have the DNA data removed from the database.
Supporters of the bill say that this requirement gives law enforcement officers an additional tool as they work on solving cases. However, they don't mention how the law will violate the fundamental rights of persons who have not been convicted of any crimes.
The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with sex crimes, drug crimes, fraud, assault and other crimes across New Jersey.