Florida Senate - 2016 CS for SB 636 By the Committee on Criminal Justice; and Senator Benacquisto 591-02537-16 2016636c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to evidence collected in sexual 3 offense investigations; creating s. 943.326, F.S.; 4 requiring that a sexual offense evidence kit or other 5 DNA evidence be submitted to a member of the statewide 6 criminal analysis laboratory system within a specified 7 timeframe after specified occurrences; requiring a 8 medical provider or law enforcement agency to inform 9 an alleged victim of a sexual offense of certain 10 information relating to sexual offense evidence kits; 11 requiring the retention of specified evidence; 12 requiring adoption and dissemination of guidelines and 13 procedures by certain entities by a specified date; 14 requiring the testing of sexual offense evidence kits 15 within a specified timeframe after submission to a 16 member of the statewide criminal analysis laboratory; 17 providing requirements for such guidelines and 18 procedures; providing construction; providing an 19 effective date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Section 943.326, Florida Statutes, is created to 24 read: 25 943.326 DNA evidence collected in sexual offense 26 investigations.— 27 (1) A sexual offense evidence kit, or other DNA evidence if 28 a kit is not collected, must be submitted to a member of the 29 statewide criminal analysis laboratory system under s. 943.32 30 for forensic testing within 30 days after: 31 (a) Receipt of the evidence by a law enforcement agency if 32 a report of the sexual offense is made to the law enforcement 33 agency; or 34 (b) A request to have the evidence tested is made to the 35 medical provider or the law enforcement agency by: 36 1. The alleged victim; 37 2. The alleged victim’s parent, guardian, or legal 38 representative, if the alleged victim is a minor; or 39 3. The alleged victim’s personal representative, if the 40 alleged victim is deceased. 41 (2) An alleged victim or, if applicable, the person 42 representing the alleged victim under subparagraph (1)(b)2. or 43 subparagraph (1)(b)3. must be informed of the purpose of 44 submitting evidence for testing and the right to request testing 45 under subsection (1) by: 46 (a) A medical provider conducting a forensic physical 47 examination for purposes of a sexual offense evidence kit; or 48 (b) A law enforcement agency that collects other DNA 49 evidence associated with the sexual offense if a kit is not 50 collected under paragraph (a). 51 (3) A collected sexual offense evidence kit must be 52 retained in a secure, environmentally safe manner until the 53 prosecuting agency has approved its destruction. 54 (4) By January 1, 2017, the department and each laboratory 55 within the statewide criminal analysis laboratory system, in 56 coordination with the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, 57 shall adopt and disseminate guidelines and procedures for the 58 collection, submission, and testing of DNA evidence that is 59 obtained in connection with an alleged sexual offense. The 60 timely submission and testing of sexual offense evidence kits is 61 a core public safety issue. Testing of sexual offense evidence 62 kits must be completed no later than 120 days after submission 63 to a member of the statewide criminal analysis laboratory 64 system. 65 (a) The guidelines and procedures must include the 66 requirements of this section, standards for how evidence is to 67 be packaged for submission, what evidence must be submitted to a 68 member of the statewide criminal analysis laboratory system, and 69 timeframes for when the evidence must be submitted, analyzed, 70 and compared to DNA databases. 71 (b) The testing requirements of this section are satisfied 72 when a member of the statewide criminal analysis laboratory 73 system tests the contents of the sexual offense evidence kit in 74 an attempt to identify the foreign DNA attributable to a 75 suspect. If a sexual offense evidence kit is not collected, the 76 laboratory may receive and examine other items directly related 77 to the crime scene, such as clothing or bedding or personal 78 items left behind by the suspect. If probative information is 79 obtained from the testing of the sexual offense evidence kit, 80 the examination of other evidence should be based on the 81 potential evidentiary value to the case and determined through 82 cooperation among the investigating agency, the laboratory, and 83 the prosecutor. 84 (5) This section does not create a cause of action or 85 create any rights for an individual to challenge the admission 86 of evidence or create a cause of action for damages or any other 87 relief for a violation of this section. 88 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.