Category Archives: Forensic Evidence

All About Fingerprinting

Arrest Prints: Now-a-days, when a person is booked at a police station, it is rare to see police use the ink method to take their prints.

Why is that?  The simple answer is advanced technology.  Instead of rolling fingers and palms in ink, they are able roll them on a glass plate and a digital image is taken.  Once the digial image of the print is checked for quality control by a technician,  it is entered into the AFIS.

The Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems, or AFIS, is a national database that holds images of fingerprints that have been scanned in by computer.  A technician can search the AFIS to determine if the person has been arrested previously, has a warrant out for their arrest, or has provided false identifying information.  It usually take a few minutes for the AFIS to search over 5 Million fingerprint cards.  It then generates three closest matches to the fingerprints searched.  From there, the technician must compare the prints to make sure that are from the same person.

Latent Prints:

A latent print is print that is lifted off a surface (For example, a print that was taken off a window of evidence at at crime scene).  These prints can also be scanned in to see if they can be connected to a person in the AFIS.

In CSI TV shows you see the person scan a print into the computer and a moment later a picture of the suspect pops up with all their information.  Well in real life, when a techinician scans a prints into AFIS, it can take awhile.  The technician must compare the unknown latent print with known prints of an individual and get a what is called an “AFIS hit.”

If you have questions about DNA evidence pertaining to your case contact Ambrose Law Group at  (248) 624-5500



Filed under Forensic Evidence

North Carolina’s Corrupted Crime Lab

A damning state report finds systematic abuse, including death penalty cases.

The SBI crime lab scandal is only the most recent story of forensics malfeasance.

In recent years there have been forensics scandals in VirginiaMarylandMississippiOklahomaNebraskaCalifornia,MichiganTexas, and at the FBI.

Read the full story here

Wrongful convictions based on false forensic evidence put the entire credibility of the field in jeopardy.  Stories of people sentenced to death row based on false DNA evidence make great movie plots but harsh reality.

If you have been charged with a crime and have questions on Forensic Evidence being used in your case call Ambrose Law Group at (248) 624-5500

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DNA Testing Links Calif. Man to “Offensive Material” (Really) in Woman’s Water Bottle

This is anything but your typical DNA evidence case.

Michael Kevin Lallana (Orange County District Attorney's Office)

Prosecutors say they used DNA testing to connect Michael Kevin Lallana, a 31-year-old employee of a financial firm, to a rude, lewd crime — putting an “offensive material” into a female co-worker’s water bottle.

So you don’t have to guess – that offensive material, they say, was semen, according to CBS affiliate KCAL.

See the full story here

If you questions on DNA evidence in your case call Ambrose Law Group at 248-624-5500

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Forensic Evidence: The Basics Of DNA

What is DNA?

The Scientific name for DNA is Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  It is a hereditary substance that is only found in cells that have a nucleus.  Each nucleus of a cell contains a unique DNA code.  Everyone has a different DNA code (except identical twins).

What is DNA profiling?

DNA profiling is a technique that forensic scientists use to identify the source of the DNA evidence.  Scientists can test skin cells, blood, saliva, hair roots, sweat, semen, and even the center of teeth to obtain a DNA profile.  DNA profiling is most commonly used to help law enforcement identify a suspect, or in some cases, it is used to identify the victim.

What is CODIS?

CODIS stands for the Combined DNA Index System.  This system is funded by the FBI contains DNA profiles of individuals from all over the country.  These profiles are from convicted offenders, unsolved crime scene evidence, and from missing persons.  According to the FBI, CODIS has produced over 120,300 hits in assisting more than 117,800 investigations as of June 2010.

If you are a convicted offender, your DNA may or may not be in CODIS.  State law differs on what convicted offenses require an individual to submit a DNA sample to be entered into the database.  These crimes can range from certain misdemeanors all the way up to violent felonies. To find out what Michigan’s qualifying offenses are, check out:

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CSI… It’s Only A T.V. Show

Crime scene investigation shows, like CSI or NCIS, depict DNA profiling as a quick and easy process.  Some people get really into theseForensic Evidence types of shows but when they encounter forensics in real life, they are often let down by how complicated the science can be.  A forensic scientist cannot just put blood into a machine and then watch as seconds later a suspect pops up on the screen in front of them.  In real life, it can take months before scientists get any results from DNA testing.

Crime scene investigation shows effect jurors’, victims’, and criminals’ perceptions of forensic science.  Jurors expect scientific evidence to be present in cases. Victims get frustrated because of the length of time it takes to gather and test the crime scene evidence.  Police all over the country have stated that criminals seem to be getting “smarter” when it comes to not leaving evidence behind.  This whole phenomenon has been dubbed the “CSI Effect.”  Do you think the “CSI Effect” has lead to unexpected jury verdicts?  Why?

Ambrose Law Group


Filed under DNA Testing, Forensic Evidence