What is the Orange County District Attorney’s DNA database?
The Orange County District Attorney, Anthony Rackauckas, learned that Sweden allowed a local county to start collecting their own DNA for those convicted of crimes. They kept people’s DNA and periodically ran them through old cases that were never solved. In 2007, the murder of a single mother with a baby at home was stabbed and never solved until a DNA hit led to a suspect who later confessed to the murder.
The DA wanted to do the same system in Orange County and received funding to begin the Orange County District Attorney DNA Databank. The DA’s office runs this databank and uses this to try to solve old cases as well as to match DNA in current cases.
Why do they want my DNA?
The Orange County DA’s office is trying to gather everyone’s DNA to keep in their databank indefinitely. They want to use this information to try to solve old “cold case” crimes and to gather evidence in current and future crimes. The District Attorney’s Office is now asking for DNA for their private databank on all offers they make on their cases. It is crucial you have a good criminal defense attorney to protect you from giving up your DNA to them if it does not benefit you. A Judge can make you an offer on your case without the requirement of giving the Orange County District Attorney your DNA.
Concerns and problems with the Orange County DA’s DNA databank:
It is not a state qualified laboratory and is not approved by the State. There are no mandated regulations by the State that they must abide by. Basically, it is a private databank and they decide what the rules are. They claim they can do basically whatever they want because people are “voluntarily” giving them their DNA. But, this isn’t accurate since most dismissals, deferred entry of judgements, any type of negotiated plea bargain, etc… will have the requirement from a District Attorney of the defendant giving their private databank a sample of their DNA. So, it’s not really “voluntarily.”
I already gave my DNA when I went to the jail. Why do they want it again?
When you are arrested and go to jail, the jail will take your DNA for the Department of Justice purposes. Your DNA is stored in the DOJ’s databank. The District Attorney have their own databank and also want a sample of your DNA. They can only get it if you voluntarily give it to them. They do not have the right to force you to give them a sample of your DNA for their local databank.
Where does the Orange County District Attorney collect my DNA?
Each courthouse in Orange County has a District Attorney’s Office inside. Within the District Attorney’s Offices, there are DNA offices where they will collect your DNA for the DA’s office. You will need to fill out paperwork and show proper ID. They will then take a q-tip and swab your inner mouth. They will charge you a $75 DNA collection fee.
What happens to my DNA?
It is stored in their private databank. What happens to it depends on what the District Attorney of Orange County wants to do with it. They can run it to see if it matches any old unsolved crimes. They can run it to see if it matches any current crimes. They can keep it indefinitely to see if they might want to run it in the future. All of these options are dangerous since it gives the Orange County District Attorney power and tabs on your private DNA.
When should I not give my DNA?
You should not give your DNA if you know you have committed crimes in the past and have not been caught for them. By giving the Orange County District Attorney your DNA now, you are running the risk that they will run your DNA through their unsolved crimes and get a match or hit on you. This could be the first step in them opening up an old unsolved case and prosecuting you for it.
Can I ever take my DNA out of the database?
No. Once your DNA is in their databank, it stays their indefinitely. There are no options of deleting your DNA from the databank at this time.