Illinois State Police Swamped with DNA testsPublished: Apr 27, 2016, by in Criminal Defense, Legal Blog, Sex Crimes, Student Crimes, Violent Crimes
In recent months, the Illinois State Police crime lab has been experiencing a significant delay in processing evidence collected in rape and murder crimes. The combination of limited resources and increasing test submissions has led to a backlog of nearly 3,100 cases. These tests include blood, semen, and other DNA samples that can potentially lead to arrests.
The State Department hopes to gather more funding soon to hire additional lab staff, and eliminate the DNA backlog. Once the untested evidence is processed, samples from unknown offenders can be compared to the database of known criminals. As a result, many pending cases may finally start to move forward.
However, some DNA samples have been stored away for decades. Because of the long delay in processing, pieces of evidence may become damaged, and result in inaccurate testing or compromised results.
Being Charged With a Criminal Offense in Illinois
When you are unexpectedly charged with a serious crime in Illinois due to newly tested evidence, you may feel confused and overwhelmed. A complex criminal case can take years to process, especially if it involves DNA testing. You may be arrested and prosecuted for serious crimes that happened years ago, that you might not even remember. Upon conviction, felonies such sexual assault can lead to harsh sentences, including:
- Up to 30 years in State Penitentiary
- Fines up to $25,000
- Permanent criminal record
- Years of probation after release
- Loss of driver’s license or work license
You will need the right Chicago criminal defense lawyer on your side to fight in court. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense, and negotiate for lower charges or reduced sentence.
How An Experienced Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
You should look for an experienced criminal defense lawyer with working knowledge of the Illinois court system. A skilled attorney may be able to:
- Evaluate the evidence against you: If DNA test results are found to be inaccurate or improperly conducted, the evidence can be thrown out in court.
- Investigate police procedures: If the police department performed illegal questioning or conducted illegal searches of your home or property, your charges can be dropped.
- Prepare a strong line of defense: An experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer will be able to use legal resources and court rules to your benefit. This pertains to every step in your case, from arraignment to trial.
When you are facing a criminal charge in the Chicago area, contact O’Meara Law LLC for a free and confidential consultation. Chicago criminal defense lawyer Michael O’Meara carries decades of experience in successfully handling complex cases. We believe that every client deserves quality representation, and we are dedicated to fighting for your freedom.
Call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 to get your legal questions answered. Meet with a knowledgeable Chicago criminal defense lawyer to better understand the charges against you, and learn more about how we can help.