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Intro to Forensics

Our Introductory Unit

FBI The Federal Bureau of Investigation maintains the largest crime lab in the world.
DEA Drug Enforcement Administrative Laboratories (Department of Justice), analysis of drugs seized in violation of federal laws.
ATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (Department of Treasure), analyzes alcoholiv beverages, documents related to tax law enforcement, examines weapons, explosive devices, and related evidence.
US Postal Inspection Service Criminal investigation related to the postal service.
State Maintains a crime laboratory to service state and local law enforcement agencies that do not have ready acess to a laboratory.
Local Provides services to county and municipal agencies.
Crime scene Any physical location in which a crime has occured or is suspected of having occured.
Primary crime scene The original location of a crime or accident.
Secondary crime scene An alternate location where additional evidence may be found.
Suspect Person thought to be capable of committing a crime.
Accomplice Person associated with someone suspected of committing a crime.
Alibi Statement of where a suspect was at the time of a crime.
Testimonial evidence Includes oral or written statements given to police as well as court testimony by people who witnessed an event.
Physical evidence Refers to any material items that would be present at the crime scene, on the victims, or found in a suspects possession.
Trace evidence Refers to physical evidence that is found in small but measurable amounts such as strands of hair, fibers, or skin cells.
Police officers They are responsible for securing the scene, so no evidence is destroyed and detaining persons of interest in the crime. Typically first ones to arrive at crime scene.
CSI unit They document the crime scene in detail and collects any physical evidence.
District attorney Is often present to help determine if any serch warrants are required to proceed and obtains those warrants from a judge.
Medical examiner (If a homicide) may or may not be present to determine a preliminary cause of death.
Specialists Forensic entomologists, anthropologists, or psychologists, may be called in if the evidence requires expert analysis.
Detectives Interview witnesses and consult with the CSI unit.
Manner of Death: Natural People die of natural causes (ex: heart attacks, strokes) Autopsises are performed only when death occurs suddenly or unexpectedly.
Manner of Death: Accidental Coroners start an investigation if the feel the accident could have been avoided.
Manner of Death: Suicide Helping someone commit suicide is against the law and will lead to manslaughter charges.
Manner of Death: Homicide Means "killing a human", could lead to one of two charges: murder or manslaughter.
Drug Chemistry Determines the presence of controlled substances and the identification of marijuana.
Trace Chemistry Identification and comparison of materials from fires, explosisons, paints, and glass.
Microscopy microscopic identification and comparison of evidence (ex: hairs, fibers, woods, soils, building materials, insulation, etc.)
Biology/DNA Analysis of body fluids and dried stains such as blood, semen, and saliva.
Toxicology Tests body fluids and tissues to determine the presence of drugs and poisons.
Latent Prints Identification an comparison of fingerprints or other hidden impressions from sources like feet, shoes, ears, lips, or the tread of vehicle tires.
Ballistics (Firearms) Stufy of bullets and ammunition through the comparison of fired bullets, cartridges, guns, and gunpowder patterns on people and objects.
Toolmarks Examines marks left by tools on objects at a crime scene or on a victim.
Questioned Documents Examination of documents to compare handwriting, ink, paper, writing instruments, printers, and other characteristics that would help identify its origin.
Forensic Science Applying science to law
Criminology Study of crime
Created by: TBrylewski