Many people are shocked to learn that they cannot simply walk into court with a DNA test report and obtain justice. It appears that many DNA testing services are happy to let you assume that a notarized test report stands on its own as evidence or that their local representatives can provide proper testimony regarding actions and processes that they themselves did not witness.
The DNA Hustisya Project surveys laboratories and their local representatives and we are dismayed at the misinformation we receive regarding their litigation support. When we call their attention to our concerns about the likelihood of evidentiary challenges, they inform us that they will look into the matter and we never hear from them again.
We therefore strongly caution prospective purchasers to consult their attorney before purchasing a DNA test intended for use in court. In particular, please ask your attorney about the rules of evidence and request his estimate of your total cost of complying with them. These rules exist to protect the public from false evidence and they apply to DNA test reports the same as any other document you might wish to enter into evidence.
The rules of evidence vary somewhat by country and sometimes even by community, so you must rely on the expertise of your attorney. We suggest you specifically ask your attorney how he will go about satisfying the court that:
- the test report document itself is authentic;
- the specimens submitted for analysis actually belong to the people named in the report;
- the laboratory used good science and procedures to arrive at the conclusion stated on the test report.
If you cannot afford an attorney, please consult the list of legal aid resources in our FAQ. We also remind you that many attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation.
Please do not purchase our Legal test unless you are certain that you can afford the expense of going to court. If you are not going to court then you would be better served to purchase our Home test as it is just as accurate as our Legal test and costs significantly less. If court is possible but not certain, then select the option on our Legal test to defer the cost of the written, notarized test report until you are certain that you will file a case.
Disclaimer: We do not provide legal advice as we are not attorneys. This article is intended solely to alert you to some important matters we believe that you should discuss with your attorney. We are happy to discuss these matters directly with your attorney and do not charge for brief consultations.