DNA Evidence and the Defendant

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Nov 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

In January 2018, Keenan Smith, a 29-year-old from Philadelphia, attempted to rob the Trolley Car Diner. He snuck in through a side entrance and waited outside of the manager's office with a gun. When the manager entered, the defendant pointed the gun at the manager's head, and a scuffle ensued. The defendant was shot in the hand and fled the scene. It wasn't until he sought medical treatment for the wound that the police could locate and arrest him. The Philadelphia police department said Smith's DNA matched DNA left at the crime scene.

How DNA Can Work for and against a Defendant

Wherever we go in the world, we leave behind tiny trace amounts of our genetic structure. When you touch a railing, brush past a person, or cut your finger ever so slightly, you leave behind a piece of yourself on the item or person. This DNA evidence can be used to place you at a crime scene or even indicate you were part of the crime. In the instance above, if the defendant hadn't been shot in the hand, leaving blood behind, he probably wouldn't have been identified as quickly. And if the defendant were wrongfully arrested and charged, the DNA left behind from the gunshot would have exonerated him if it didn't match his DNA.

Even though DNA evidence is almost always used to place blame, a solid defense can use it to exonerate a defendant. If DNA evidence is left behind, but it isn't yours, the prosecution's case against you will have less merit. Additionally, if the police find but fail to collect DNA evidence present at the scene of a crime, that can also help your case. DNA evidence effectively identifies a particular defendant, but if it was present and went uncollected, it can show a bias-based arrest or a lack of due diligence by the government. Having an attorney present will ensure that the prosecution presents the DNA evidence objectively.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Being accused of a crime can feel like a punch in the gut. You will feel overwhelmed and scared. Having an attorney on your side at the start will help ensure your rights are upheld. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a skilled attorney with years of experience in criminal defense. He works diligently to create a defense with your best interest at heart.

Attorney Lento will protect your rights by acting to alleviate any unnecessary charges at the beginning of the legal battle and ensure the prosecution does not use superfluous evidence against you at trial. DNA evidence can feel like an open and shut case, but if you've been wrongfully charged and have a qualified criminal attorney on your side, it will be much harder for the prosecution to use it to lay blame on you. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to schedule your consultation. Don't try to navigate these tricky waters alone. Attorney Lento can help.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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