Agencies Involved in Alabama Sex Crimes Investigations
The larger police agencies have people whose only job is to investigate sex crimes. They will most likely have some type of specialized training dealing with people who have experienced some type of trauma or some type of forced sexual experience.
Apart from specialized individuals who have been trained to investigate sex crimes, there are many other agencies involved in the prosecution of Alabama sex crimes cases. To best understand how these agencies may relate to your specific sex crimes charge, contact an experienced Alabama sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible.
There are some special divisions among law enforcement where there is an effort to try to minimize the impact of the investigation on the alleged victim. A person affected by a sex crime may encounter a patrol officer who may or may not do a thorough job and ask the right questions. When a person claims they have been raped, they are going to be invited to the rape response people, either in a hospital or a specialized unit.
These units are equipped with nurses and social workers whose sole function is to treat people who have been alleged to have been victims of sex crimes. There is evidence that must be collected as well as treatment that includes the administration of drugs that may help people prevent infection.
Rape Response Procedures
Most of these agencies are funded by some type of publicly funded nonprofit group. These environments are more relaxing than many other investigative units. In these types of cases, the person’s clothing is collected.
There is then a very thorough external investigation of the person’s body. The person is stripped naked and photographed. If they have abrasions, cuts, bruises, or things that are consistent with some type of physical force, then those are going to be documented by photograph.
There is also an internal examination where there is an effort made by either a doctor or nurse with specialized training to not only collect the forensic samples, but also to do an internal examination looking for tears, bruises, abrasions, and things that might be consistent with forced intercourse.
The problem with that is that it is also consistent with consensual intercourse, but nevertheless, it needs to be documented. Samples are collected and then sent to the Department of Forensic Sciences where they will make a very thorough inspection looking for foreign items, be it hair, pubic hair or head hair, arm hair, or any kind of skin cells for testing.
Sometimes, once an individual has collected the DNA samples, they will attempt to get DNA specimens from the defendant to see whether or not they match. However, other times, a person will collect the samples and there is no known suspect. Then, the DNA will be put in a database. Periodically, when there are new rape type cases that align with the sample, a specialized agency may be able to link a particular individual to that rape case. The various agencies involved in Alabama sex crimes cases can work toward providing the parties involved with crucial information that can help settle the case.
Using DNA for the Defense
Sex offenders are required to submit to DNA testing. Even though there may not be specimens collected in connection with the particular case, people who have been accused often need to turn over DNA for what is referred to as cold cases. It is a periodic process in order to start looking at that person from the viewpoint of prosecuting them.
Experienced attorneys have worked on homicide cases where there was no DNA testing at the time. Some have tried to go back as late as 20 years to get testing done to rule their client out as a suspect. Through this process, a lot of people have been exonerated, even people in death row by DNA testing.