The grand jury has issued a scathing report concerning the state of the Oakland police crime laboratory. According to the report, at one point in 2011 the Oakland crime lab had close to one thousand combined unsolved sex cases and murder cases in which evidence was available for testing but the laboratory has not gotten to it.
The problems have been blamed on inadequate staffing and lack of funding. According to the report, the problem is especially bad in light of the fact that the city of Oakland refuses to contract with any outside agencies in order to facilitate this testing. Many cases remain unsolved despite the availability of evidence.
The Oakland technicians from the crime laboratory are responsible to test crime scene evidence and also to appear in court to testify as to their findings. Because they are understaffed the amount of time devoted to testing of evidence has decreased. The report found that the city of Oakland is not doing much about the situation and therefore the situations may worsen.
A police or District Attorney crime laboratory handles all types of evidence processing. This can range from testing blood for alcohol in DUI cases to testing for DNA in murder cases. The laboratory may also handle firearm testing, gun shot residue (GSR) testing and fingerprint testing and comparison.
From a Bay Area defense lawyer prospective, the backup of the crime laboratory is especially concerning. If charged with a DUI in Alameda county your blood may be stored for months before being tested. Depending on the storage method this may cause a rise in the alcohol level in the stored blood. The process is referred to as fermentation and it refers to a chemical reaction of the sugar in the blood that produces alcohol. The end result may be a significantly higher blood alcohol content (BAC) reading.
If you have been arrested for a DUI by the Oakland police department or by another law enforcement agency in Alameda county, call our Bay Area criminal defense offices today at 415-956-4020 or 925-335-6444.