If you are arrested for a felony in Nevada, you still have the right to remain silent, but your DNA could be headed straight to a national DNA database.
If passed, Assembly Bill 552 will mandate DNA collection from anyone arrested for a felony, whether or not DNA is necessary to investigate the crime, and whether or not the individual is ever charged or convicted of the crime. This turns a concept that is fundamental to our criminal justice system, that a person is "innocent until proven guilty," on its head. Listen to Allen Lichtenstein, ACLU of Nevada General Counsel, discuss the bill on KNPR's State of Nevada.
We need your help to urge the Nevada Senate to oppose AB 552. Email addresses for the Senate and a sample email are provided below.
The automatic DNA collection proposed in AB 552 is not limited to serious, violent offenses. DNA would even be collected from victims of domestic violence who are arrested after defending themselves, people wrongfully arrested due to police misconduct, someone who has written a bad check, and people arrested during political demonstrations.
Once collected, these DNA profiles never go away. Profiles are not automatically removed from the state database if an individual is not convicted of a crime. Additionally, although the state promises that the records in its database could be removed, the state cannot force the federal government to remove the DNA profiles added to its database. Any records removed from the state database may still be included and searched in the national database for years to come.
We need your help to stop this bill! The Assembly has already passed AB 552, and the Senate will vote on it any day now. Please take a moment to email the Senate and ask them to oppose AB 552.
Copy and paste these email addresses to send an email to the entire Senate:
I am writing to urge you to vote “NO” on AB552, which would mandate DNA collection from anyone arrested for a felony, whether or not they are ever charged or convicted. Instead of being limited to serious, violent offenses, AB552 would even apply to victims of domestic violence who are arrested after defending themselves, people wrongfully arrested due to police misconduct, someone who has written a bad check, and people arrested during political demonstrations. The subject of this bill is currently being litigated in the 9th Circuit. The core issue in the case is whether or not the collection of DNA from a person who is merely arrested and not convicted of a crime violates constitutional guarantees of privacy and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.
Please also consider that:
- There is no automatic expungement for arrestees who are never convicted.
- The bill provides a false sense of security that DNA profiles are easily expunged when, in fact, the state cannot compel the federal government to expunge any records. DNA profiles may be included and searched in the nationwide database for years to come.
- This legislation, as written, may result in the stockpiling of all felon arrestees’ genetic characteristics in the state and federal DNA databases.
As your constituent, I urge a NO vote on AB552. Thank you for your attention to this matter.