Tuesday, November 11, 2014

California DNA Bill of Rights for Sexual Assault Victims

Did you know that California has a DNA Bill of Rights for Sexual Assault Victims?  I can be found in CA Penal Code 680 (full PDF version here).   Although it does provide fairly broad discretion to the Cal. law enforcement agency investigating the sex crime, and is subject to "the commitment of sufficient resources to respond to information requests," it does provide the victim of a sexual assault with the right to the following information:

  • The right to be informed whether or not a DNA profile of an assailant was procured through the rape kit evidence.
  • Whether a DNA profile has been developed out of evidence obtained from a sexual assault examination.
  • Whether or not there is a match between the DNA profile established by the rape kit evidence and a defendant accused of criminal sexual assault.

This code section of CA law is important to provide the victims of sexual assault information which may identify their attacker and allow them to take measures to protect themselves from any future assault by that same perpetrator.  In addition, this provision is yet another tool that can be utilized by legal counsel for the sexual assault victim to obtain evidence that may assist in any claims for civil damages.  By having a legal right to request information regarding DNA matches, a victim, through their civil attorney can obtain solid evidence of the identity of the assailant, which could be admissible in a civil trial for money damages.

For assistance with any claim for monetary compensation related to a sexual assault in California, please call our toll free number statewide at 866-229-0101.