Like other crime labs around the country, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Crime Lab is required to adhere to strict protocols when conducting tests and analyzing evidence. These protocols are designed to ensure that the samples are not tainted and the test results are accurate. For this reason, is it vital in any criminal defense to review the procedures used by the technicians conducting the tests and the steps taken by the crime lab as a whole to be sure any results used in the prosecution of a criminal case were proper.
Any deviation from the procedures and regulations calls into question the veracity of the results. For instance, in a recent alcohol-related vehicular homicide trial, questions arose regarding the accuracy of a blood alcohol content test done in case involving a fatal accident in 2011. The controversy centers on a crime lab technician who allegedly falsified records, violated protocols and cut corners.
According to her testimony, the accused driver’s blood alcohol content was .181 on the night in question. Not only does this result affect the DUI charge he is facing, but also the vehicular homicide charge. There seems to be some confusion as to which vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic in the accident. Even Ohio State Highway Patrol officers disagree about which vehicle was at fault for the crash.
It is not enough to simply look at the results of an investigation. Delving deeper into the way evidence was handled, analyzed and tested is equally important in any criminal defense. When a person’s freedom, livelihood and future are on the line, nothing less than 100 percent accuracy is required.
Source: 10tv.com, Crime Lab Employee’s Work Questioned At Vehicular Homicide Trial, No author, Feb. 25, 2014