Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., P.A. Over 50 Years Of Experience

Call For A Free Consultation


Clinton: 301-856-3030 Dunkirk: 301-855-3100

Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., P.A. is here for you during this difficult time by continuing to remain open and fully functioning. Whether you're having a personal injury, workers comp, family law, protective order, criminal law or traffic defense related issue, our attorneys are available by appointment, phone or video consultations to meet your needs. To schedule a consultation, please call our office at 301-856-3030 or contact us through our website and we will respond promptly.

Safeguards present in Maryland DNA swab law

Despite a Supreme Court ruling regarding the DNA swab law in Maryland, other states are attempting to challenge similar laws. According to reports, California is one such state. In June of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of a Maryland law that allows police to swab the inside of someone's cheek for DNA that will be submitted to a database containing information for unsolved crimes. No warrant is needed for this, thanks to the state law, if the crime is considered serious, which usually means that the act included some sort of violence. The Supreme Court ruling was not unanimous; in fact, it was a 5-4 decision. According to the majority opinion, DNA sampling is similar to fingerprinting.

Even with that ruling, though, others are attempting to challenge their own state's version of the DNA-swab law. For example, California's version gives police the ability to take DNA from anyone who has been arrested on suspicion of committing a felony, a category of crimes that includes repeated shoplifting and drug possession. This could mean that many people who have committed less-than-serious crimes will have their DNA placed into a similar unsolved crimes database. Previously, California only allowed individuals convicted of felonies to have their DNA taken by authorities.

A federal appeals court will hear the case against the law in the near future. According to opponents, some safeguards that are in place in the Maryland law are not apparent in the California legislation. One of these safeguards is the destruction of DNA samples if a judge decides that the authorities did not have probable cause to make the arrest or if prosecutors elect not to file felony charges against the defendant.

Regardless of where you live, it is important to understand your rights as a defendant. If you have been charged with any sort of crime, you should consider speaking with a criminal defense lawyer about your circumstances. Your attorney will work diligently to build strong defense on your behalf in order to give you the best chance at a positive outcome in your case.

Source:, "Federal appeals court to hear DNA-swab law" Bob Egelko, Aug. 15, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help?Schedule your free consultation today!

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Clinton Office Building Dunkirk Office Building

Clinton Office
8808 Old Branch Avenue
P.O. Box 219
Clinton, MD 20735

Phone: 301-856-3030
Fax: 301-856-4029
Clinton Law Office Map

Dunkirk Office
2981 Penwick Lane
Dunkirk, MD 20754

Phone: 301-855-3100
Fax: 301-855-8251
Dunkirk Law Office Map