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DNA Sampling of Sexual Offenders is Required by Statute

In 2004 the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted 44 Pa.C.S. §§ 2301 to 2336 (The DNA Act) to provide for the collection of DNA samples for felony sex offenses and other specified offenses.

The Act defines a "felony sex offense" as a felony offense or an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a felony offense under any of the following:

  • 18 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 31 et seq. (sexual offenses);
  • 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4302 (incest);
  • 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5902(c)(1)(ii) and (iv) (prostitution and related offenses);
  • 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5903(a) (obscene and other sexual materials and performance) when the offense constitutes a felony;
  • 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6312 (sexual abuse of children);
  • 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6318 (unlawful contact with minor) when the most serious underlying offense for which the defendant contacted the minor is graded as a felony; and
  • 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6320 (sexual exploitation of children).

An "other specified offense" is defined as (1) a felony offense, (2) an offense under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2910 (luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure) or § 3126 (indecent assault) or an attempt to commit such an offense, or (3) an offense subject to 42 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 97 Subch. H (relating to registration of sexual offenders).

The Act provides that a DNA sample will be drawn from an individual as follows:

"[A] person who is sentenced or receives a delinquency disposition to a term of confinement for an offense covered by this subsection shall have a DNA sample drawn upon intake to a prison, jail or juvenile detention facility or any other detention facility or institution. If the person is already confined at the time of sentencing or adjudication, the person shall have a DNA sample drawn immediately after the sentencing or adjudication. If a DNA sample is not timely drawn in accordance with this section, the DNA sample may be drawn any time thereafter by the prison, jail, juvenile detention facility, detention facility or institution."

The Act has as its applications for future identification of sex offenders in the perpetration of new crimes and will increase the statute of limitations in certain instances where the identity of the accused was unknown prior to discovery of the DNA in past crimes.

If you have been accused of a sex crime and are facing a DNA sample or interrogation for an offense, you should contact counsel immediately to assist you in your case. You may contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC (717) 268-4287.