House approves Steuerwald’s bill aimed at solving crimes through DNA

Posted by: Peter Hoffman  | Tuesday, February 21, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 21, 2017) — The Indiana House of Representatives passed State Rep. Greg Steuerwald’s (R-Avon) bill Tuesday that would allow law enforcement to expand the use of DNA to combat and solve crimes.

Under House Bill 1577, those arrested for a felony would have a DNA profile taken through a cheek swab. The profile would be run through a federal DNA database to help law enforcement with unsolved crimes. Currently, Indiana law allows for the swab to be taken after a felony conviction.

“In Hendricks County and across Indiana, we have seen how helpful DNA samples can be for law enforcement when they are attempting to connect crimes in different states and stop criminals,” Steuerwald said. “It is a powerful tool that can be used to prevent some of the worst types of crime such as sexual assault and murder. By joining the majority of other states who have similar laws, Indiana will be taking a major step forward in making our communities safer for all Hoosiers.”

Steuerwald said the samples would be expunged if all charges were dropped or the person was acquitted of all their charges. The bill would also allow the expungement of all DNA samples if the felony arrest does not result in a conviction. Additionally, a court would have to rule that there is probable cause to process and keep the DNA sample if the arrest was made without a warrant.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states currently have some form of state DNA collection upon arrest, as does the federal government.

The bill will now go to the Senate for further consideration. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about this legislation.

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State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) represents House District 40, which is a portion of Hendricks County.

A high-resolution photo of Steuerwald can be downloaded by clicking here.