Expanding DNA collection
In a move that could greatly expand the database holding identifying information of convicted criminals, Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) has introduced Assembly Bill 16, which would expand DNA and other identifying information collection for some misdemeanors.
Currently, anyone convicted of a felony in California must provide buccal swab samples – collected from inside one’s mouth – a right thumbprint, a full palm print impression of each hand, and any blood specimens or other biological samples required for law enforcement identification analysis.
If AB 16 passes, those requirements will expand to include any adult convicted of a host of misdemeanors. Those include shoplifting less than $950 in goods, forgery valued less than $950, certain check fraud, theft of property valued at less than $950, receipt of stolen property valued less than $950, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of methamphetamine.
OAG crime statistics show an estimate of how many additional perpetrators would be required to submit identifying DNA and fingerprint information. In 2015, 157,894 adult drug-related misdemeanors were reported, along with 46,612 adult arrests for petty theft. An additional 1,110 adults were arrested for check and credit card-related fraud.
The bill notes that it could possibly impose additional costs on local law enforcement agencies, and that the state may have to reimburse those agencies for the additional costs.