DNA collected from people suspected of committing a crime, but not convicted is often not removed from law enforcement databases, Cleveland.com reports.
In Ohio, DNA is collected from suspects when they are arrested in felony cases. Indeed, Cleveland.com notes that there has been a push to make sure genetic samples are always collected at arrest. However, it also notes that once in the database, it can be difficult to get genetic profiles removed.
Cleveland.com says that how someone has to go about having a DNA profile removed from the database is unclear. It notes that the requirements for having a criminal record sealed and DNA removed from the database may differ. It adds that public defender's office receives thousands of requests each year to seal records, and that some of those people may also be eligible to have their DNA profiles removed.
"Once it is determined that the arrested person is not convicted of a crime, his or her DNA should be automatically expunged — that is the law in several states," Cullen Sweeney, the deputy chief public defender in Cuyahoga County adds. But in Ohio, Cleveland.com notes that the onus is on the person from whom the sample was collected to get it removed and that it may take hiring a lawyer.