DNA and Serology Cases in Hawaii
Would You Trust the Government to Have Your Best Interests in Mind When
it Conducts its DNA Tests?
You’ve just received a charge sheet stating that you’re being
formally charged by the U.S. Military for crimes that you supposedly committed
here in Hawaii. Worse, you’re being told that law enforcement has
DNA evidence that links you to said crime. You may have even spoken with
a defense attorney at the JAG office, who tells you to plead guilty and
work out a plea agreement with the prosecution. Except, the last thing
you want to do is plead guilty.
You don’t want to give up—you want to fight.
DNA never lies. That’s why it’s one of the most convincing
types of evidence in a prosecution’s—and the defense’s—legal
arsenal. Law enforcement on the other hand will be happy to put its own
unique spin on the DNA results. And the prosecution is no different.
If you’re facing serious charges with DNA and serology evidence against
you, then you’ll need a defense team that can see through the stories
that the prosecution and law enforcement are telling the jury. You’ll
need a team with the experience, the DNA expertise, and the will power
to take on the government and beat them at their own game.
What You Need to Know About DNA and Serology Evidence
In most cases involving “he said, she said” testimony,
especially with sexual assault cases, DNA and serology evidence can be a game changer.
The trial will often be won or lost depending on which side has the most
compelling story around the DNA evidence presented to the jury.
It’s often the case that military law enforcement and the labs they
work with, both in Hawaii and elsewhere, will often not test all of the
evidence collected at the crime scene. When evidence is tested, the defense
must understand which tests were used. Not all DNA tests are created equal.
Serology testing: The lab will test certain bodily fluids prior to the actual DNA test in
order to see if other bodily fluids are present in the sample, including
determining if there’s an immunological indication of the presence
of semen (which is then used to pursue the DNA evidence further).
Autosomal STR DNA testing: This test is considered the gold standard of DNA tests, and it’s
easy to see why. The odds of two random samples having the same DNA results
from an Autosomal STR DNA test can be as high as or higher than one in
one sextillion. When you hear about DNA tests, Autosomal STR DNA is often
what is being discussed.
Y-STR DNA testing: A more general DNA test that only detects male DNA within a larger DNA
sample. For example, a vaginal swab tested using the Y-STR DNA method
would validate whether or not male DNA is present. This test should never
be used to identify an exact individual match, since the odds of two samples
having exact results are typically around 1 in 300, depending on the evidence tested.
Bilecki & Tipon Doesn’t Rely Completely on Government DNA Evidence
The Bilecki & Tipon team has handled dozens of cases involving DNA
evidence. The goal is to identify where we can best undermine the prosecution’s
DNA “story.” We do this by looking at a few critical questions:
- The DNA evidence is there, but does it incriminate you in particular?
- If it’s a match, were the results found using Y-STR DNA testing or
Autosomal STR DNA testing?
- Will our own DNA experts identify results that refute those of the government’s?
- If no DNA is found, can we use that to secure a not-guilty verdict?
- Could exculpatory evidence be found on additional, “ignored,”
or mishandled evidence in the hands of law enforcement?
Even if the prosecution has Autosomal STR-DNA evidence that confirms your
involvement, a strong defense team can still work around this by proving
consent or attacking the means by which the government secured its evidence
in the case.
The government has the evidence to convict you. But that doesn’t
mean they will.
DNA evidence, or evidence that involves serology or forensics, can do irreparable
harm to your chances at trial. Only a highly experienced legal defense
team can break that evidence apart for a jury and explain exactly why
it’s flawed. The Bilecki & Tipon team has been doing just that,
and we can get those years of experience working for you during your trial.
If the odds are continuing to stack up against you, then you need allies
here in Hawaii that can turn it around and take the battle to the prosecution.
Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (800) 996-9747, and together we’ll
take the fight to the prosecution.