An arrest can be a stressful and frightening time for individuals, especially those who do not fully know their rights in such an event. Depending on the type of crime for which an officer is arresting a person, there may be a reason to check DNA. Some officers may insist on performing a DNA check during the arrest itself, but it is important that Illinois citizens know their rights. The Illinois State Bar Association explains in its newsletter that under a provision to 730 ILCS 5/5-4-3, individuals have the right to refuse DNA collection during an arrest. However, a judge may order DNA collection at a later date.

According to the law, there must be probable cause that an individual has committed certain serious crimes in order for officials to collect DNA samples. These crimes include:

  • Home invasion
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault
  • Criminal sexual assault
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child
  • First-degree murder

Once a judge orders the collection of DNA, the samples are required to be taken within 14 days by qualified and authorized physicians, nurses or people trained in collecting specimens.

The National Conference of State Legislatures features a section regarding DNA database sample collection and management on its website. People interested in learning their specific rights regarding DNA sampling during and after arrests, as well as after conviction, can learn the particular statutes that may apply to their unique case. As DNA technology grows more accurate and faces increased regulation across the nation, those who are arrested for serious crimes should know their rights under the law.