I’m sure most of us have watched a popular television crime show a time or two. The common ones are NCIS; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; and Criminal Minds; but the list goes on and on. Often times, a person is either acquitted of or found not guilty because someone tampered with or lost evidence. This can throw away a whole case and let a guilty person go. In real life, evidence is one of the most important parts to a case! This is why it needs to be stored properly.
The National Institute of Justice states that only one-tenth of a single percent of DNA differs from another person. This small difference is what is used for blood, body tissue, hair, bone and other types of samples.
How Long Is Evidence Stored For?
Evidence is stored for as long as necessary and depending on the crime that was committed. For example, a homicide or other felony charges evidence will be held for as long as the person who committed the crime is in jail or longer.
- An Open Case means there is no suspect but police are still searching for one.
- A Charges Filed case means that someone is in custody and they have been charged with the crime. There will be a trial that follows after.
- An Adjudicated case is when there has been a conviction, the dismissal, or an acquittal of the case. This is often times due to lack of evidence or the jury finds the defendant not guilty.
- The last type of case is when is Unfounded, Refused, Denied or No Further Investigation. A suspect was never found or there was a lack of evidence to charge the leading suspect in the case.
With each of these cases, the evidence is held for different time periods. An open case is held until it closes; however, if it deals with homicide, the evidence will be retained indefinitely. When it comes to sexual offenses, kidnapping, robbery and etc. the evidence will be held as long as the suspect is in custody, once they are released, the evidence will be disposed of.
Often times, a case stays unfounded, refused or no further investigation from lack of evidence. This is why it is so important that police officers have the right equipment to store evidence, and the professionals can identify the evidence easier. Midwest Storage Solutions, Inc., has several different types of evidence lockers to fit all evidence needs.
Storage Units You Can Use To Keep Evidence Safe:
Midwest Storage Solutions, Inc., offers tamper-proof evidence lockers in many styles and configurations. These are the all of the storage units we can offer police departments!
- Pass-Thru Evidence Lockers: This storage system is built into the police department’s wall. This separates the evidence- drop- off area from the evidence room. The officers simply place the evidence in one of the storage units cubbies and close the door. The evidence technician can retrieve it from the other side. You can add extra security and get customized locks added to each cubby door.
- Refrigerated Evidence Lockers: These evidence lockers are used for different biological evidence samples. Our refrigerated storage units are 38 to 42 degrees which is the perfect temperature to keep evidence safe. If the power goes out, no need to worry, the storage units will alert you if the temperature reaches above 42 degrees inside.
- High-Density Storage Units: These units are perfect for long-term storage needs. They can hold small and large evidence for years. These units can hold furniture to guns, it really depends upon the evidence that is brought in for the case.
- ControLoc Evidence Tracking Technology: Not all evidence will be held for long periods and will be disposed of quickly. All evidence needs to be tracked from the moment it is collected to the moment it is destroyed. All of our evidence lockers can install ControLoc Evidence Tracking Technology to keep these processes in line.
- Spacesaver XTend Mobile High-Bay Storage: If you find yourself with no space for more evidence, and need to keep all the evidence you have, you can move it off site. This is a simple solution to a huge problem. Check out this story about how the Houston Police Department used these for long-term storage!
At the end of the day, if there is a lack of evidence, if it got destroyed, or gets lost it all leads to a case being closed without prosecution. This means a guilty person can walk free possibly. The correct storage units for public safety are critical!
Midwest Storage Solutions, Inc., has installed a number of different storage units for local police department and non-local. Check them out on our website under success stories. For more information, call us today!