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Criminal Defense Lawyer Tampa: What is CODIS?

Many Tampa criminal lawyers hear many questions from their clients concerning CODIS, when it is mentioned in their discovery during their pending criminal case relating to DNA evidence. As we have discussed elsewhere on our Tampa criminal lawyer blog, the power and impact of scientific evidence is overemphasized by many folks, especially with the spread of criminal justice television shows, like CSI, NCIS, Law and Order, etc. During jury trials, our Tampa criminal lawyers take significant pride in our ability and experience in exploring jurors’ understanding and expectations of scientific evidence during criminal trials. Further, we pride ourselves on our ability to exploit and capitalize on juror’s beliefs and expectations.

As to CODIS, it is the Combined DNA Index System maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (“FBI”). It is primarily concerned with cataloging DNA samples throughout the country and the solving of unsolved criminal cases. Local, state and federal authorities contribute to this program, making it one of the largest collections of catalogued DNA in the world. It contains well over 10,000,000 DNA profiles.
While the program has undoubtedly been successful in cataloging samples, it isn’t without its controversy. The most serious concerns with the program have been generalized concerns over privacy of individuals. This concern has only grown as more and more states require DNA samples to be collected from individuals, if they are convicted of certain criminal offenses. Florida, alone, literally collects thousands and thousands of DNA profiles solely through the collection of DNA from people convicted of certain crimes. Obviously, the ultimate fear is that it is somewhat Orwellian to imagine the Government maintaining a national database of DNA samples of millions of citizens, but it appears to be simply a sign of the times.

If you or someone you or someone you know has questions concerning DNA testing and its use in Florida criminal cases, contact the Tampa criminal lawyers of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We have extensive experience handling criminal cases involving all sorts of scientific evidence, including fingerprints and DNA. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa criminal lawyers immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate your time in checking out our Tampa criminal lawyer blog and look forward to working with you.