ATLANTA (February 26, 2013) – The Senate passed Senate Bill 135 by a vote of 32 to 16 to allow law enforcement agencies to collect DNA samples from those arrested for a felony.
“The passage of this bill will significantly assist law enforcement in their efforts to solve crimes and remove criminals from the streets,” said Sen. McKoon. “Violent crimes often occur at the hands of repeat offenders, so providing law enforcement with the ability to collect DNA samples would simply give investigators another tool to protect our communities.”
Individuals may have their DNA records expunged and their DNA sample destroyed after:
- their conviction was reversed and their case was dismissed,
- they were acquitted of the felony charges,
- the felony charges were reduced to misdemeanor charges,
- the felony charges were placed on the dead docket, or
- the prosecuting attorney otherwise dismisses the felony charges.
According to SB 135, the DNA samples must be collected within 30 days of finding probable cause. If a DNA sample is required, the court will ensure that the DNA sample is provided as a condition of bail.
“Victims of crime in Georgia deserve our best effort to resolve cases and bring closure to these individuals and their families,” said Sen. McKoon. “The passage of SB 135 also brings us one step closer to removing the obstacles many victims face under current law.”
Senate Bill 135 will now travel to the House of Representatives for consideration.
For Immediate Release:
February 26, 2013
For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist